Antibiotic resistance is real and it’s here! As health authorities encourage doctors and the public to reduce antibiotic use, the World Health Organisation is recommending farmers stop the routine use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals. Prolonged low level use of antibiotics in animals can promote resistance in bacteria and viruses, which can then be passed into the human food chain. Concern has been raised in recent years over resistance to the last resort antibiotic Cefotaxime in pigs. It is essential that we reduce our reliance on antibiotics otherwise we will face a situation where even simple infections could become life threatening. Animal feeds that provide conditionally essential nutrients such as ribonucleotides have been shown to enhance the immune system of pigs, chickens and fish in intensive systems.
EU fails to agree on glyphosate re-licensing (again!)
Once again EU states have failed to reach a consensus of opinion over the renewal of the licence for the continued use of glyphosate for the next 5 years. This is the second time the Committee has failed to reach an agreement. The proposal has now been referred to an Appeal Committee, which will be held on 27th November 2017. Massive pressure is being brought to bear on the European Commission to stop the use of glyphosate by European citizens concerned about the effect on human health from its use. It remains to be seen whether people power or corporate interests will win the day!
Vaccinated? You can still catch mumps!
Outbreaks of mumps are on the rise in the UK as well as the USA. This has been linked to waning immunity, as opposed to 'immune escape', in vaccinated populations and raises questions about MMR vaccine effectiveness. Mumps is a viral infection characterised by swelling of the parotid glands, giving the distinctive ‘hamster face’ look. Serious complications are rare. Outbreaks tend to occur when young people come into close contact in large groups, such as college settings, where exposure is high enough to overcome any protection vaccination may have conferred. The virus is spread in the same way as colds and flu. Whilst basic hygiene practices can reduce the spread of the virus we can help protect ourselves by building our natural immunity to help us fight infections naturally.
Andrew Wakefield: Hero or villain?
Depending on which side of the fence you sit, Dr Andrew Wakefield is either someone to be admired or hated. A human variant of Marmite perhaps. Condemned and reviled by health authorities, yet admired by many who question the safety and efficacy of routine and mandatory vaccination. An important analysis of the Wakefield saga has just been published on the website of the Alliance for Human Research Protection. The in-depth article attempts to set the factual record straight, given that many who have accepted Wakefield's characterisation as a villain have made this decision in the absence of many facts. The piece also calls into question the motives of those who stand against Wakefield along with government and health authority messaging about vaccine safety.