I have some antibiotic posts that are set to pop up every Monday morning for the next 10 weeks. I figured it was way too much for one blog, but 10 seemed to fit. I've been interested in this whole 'antibiotic resistance' thing for a long time and did quite a bit of research on it. I hope you get something out of it.
I'll be off moose hunting all next week, and then classes start up on Sept 8th. I have a couple other blogs in the wings on fun stuff like Beet Kvass and Sauerkraut making/science. Those will get posted on Wednesdays most likely. I'll try to keep up with the comments as best as I can, but I see you guys are doing great! Keep it up...I love when you all carry on the discussion, heck, it's how I got my start. I used to get in trouble by bloggers for turning their comments sections into my private forums. It's a blast, I don't mind if you do that here!
Anyway, I was reading my latest issue of FFG this morning, and came across an article that fits in nicely with tomorrow's antibiotic blog.
In the "News and Notes" column was a short piece called 'Washington Elk Hoof Disease.' It discusses a disease being seen in wild elk that has only ever been seen in cows and sheep before. The hoof disease is caused by the treponeme bacteria and cripples the animals. It's been a serious problem in the livestock industry for 30 years, and there is no cure, livestock with this disease are slaughtered and fed to us and our pets. What is happening is an all-too-familiar story. A bacterial infection weakens it's host and allows a fungal infection to grow rampant within the cells of that host.
These hooves you see below are the result of unstoppable fungal infections! Horse owners know this problem only too well.
Treponeme is also the bacteria behind syphilis, which is maybe why there are all those sheep jokes out west. But that's beside the point.
OK, where am I going with this? The US Department of the Interior has recently (July 2014) banned the planting of GMO (or 'GE,' genetically engineered) crops on lands within National Wildlife Refuges, specifically calling out areas in Washington state. This looks legit, I have to believe it is. See Memo
So how do GMO crops and treponeme bacteria relate? Easy. GMO crops change the composition of gut bacteria akin to the damage done by antibiotics. Much of the genetic engineering is the splicing of genes that breed herbicides, pesticides, and other unnatural mutations into our food crops, these herbicidal grains are resistant to bacterial attack meaning the farmer needs to spray less and gets higher yields. When we eat these plants, our gut flora is altered.
I'm going to be studying this entire GMO thing heavily over the next couple years, and hope to write lots more on it. Here are a couple links if you'd like to read more now:
Dr. Mercola on GMO damage to gut flora
GMOs: The Mutants Among Us
I'd like you to at least click on the two links above, these are generally cited as 'quack science' by the agriculture industry. People like Dr. Mercola have been raising the GMO alarm for years now and get treated like barefoot hippies holding 'The End is Near' signs at a Berkeley peace rally.
Then have a look at this: British Medical Journal; Genetically Modified Foods
From the peer-reviewed article:
The use of genetic modification in food production is proving contentious and attracting much media coverage. Despite this, it can be difficult for anyone not directly involved to know how to obtain hard facts. Genetically modified foods raise many issues—scientific, technological, environmental, social, ethical, economic, and political—too many to cover here.
This led to concerns that the antibiotic resistance gene might be transferred to animal gut flora (including human pathogens), which might then acquire resistance to a clinically useful antibiotic.and
In the heat of the debate it is easy to forget that DNA is, and always has been, part of our daily diet. Daily, each of us consumes millions of copies of many thousands of genes. Many of these genes are fully viable at the point of consumption, and in most cases we do not know what they do. How many people stop to consider the viable yet unknown genes of tomato, cucumber, and lettuce in a salad, the bovine genes in a beef steak, the fragmented DNA in many processed foods, and the genes of the many micro-organisms that we breath and swallow?
Oh, that was written in 1999!