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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Finally! CFC Bans Ceftiofur Injections in Eggs & Chicks

The use of the powerful antibiotic Ceftiofur in chicks and eggs has finally been banned by Chicken Farmers of Canada ("CFC").  CFC's new rule takes effect on May 15th 2014.

CFC's private glacier must have melted a little recently.   CFC, long ago frozen in administrative suspended animation, has finally decided to act for the good of Canadians.  Previously, it seemed as if CFC would rather focus their efforts on themselves and their millionaire, greedy chicken farmer stakeholders.

My heartfelt congratulations to CFC for joining the rest of us who live in the real world, rather than CFC's delusional and self-serving assumptions.

Chicken farmers have a long history, over 60 years, of using drugs, chemical, and yes, even poisonous and cancer-causing arsenic in the chicken feed and water supply for their factory farmed foul chickens,  This crazy scheme of the Chicken Mafia helps them to maximize their profits and reduce their business risk; regardless of the possible impact on people who would eventually eat their chicken as food.  Sounds crazy, but it's true.

For ceftiofur, factory chicken farmers ordered the hatcheries to have robots inject ceftiofur into millions of hatching eggs so that the chickens would be tainted before they were born.  In other cases, the newly hatched chicks were sexed, then injected with their vile antibiotic fluid so as to maximize their profits and minimize their business risks.

Once Public Health Canada identified the rising tide of superbugs in retail chicken, all broiler chicken hatcheries in Qu├ębec voluntarily stopped all use of ceftiofur in February 2005.  The superbug incidence rate started dropping shortly after this voluntary ban.  The hatcheries ended their voluntary ban, and the superbugs on retail chicken were back soon thereafter.

I previously reported on, complained, and warned about these issues as early as March 2, 2013 which is just 3 days after starting this Blog (see Eating Farm Gate Chicken? ).  This Blog's all time winning Blog post for reader activity is Choose: Frankenstein Chicken, or Naturally Raised Chicken? from April 2, 2013.  Also see here, here, here, here, here, and here.  Do you think any of that commentary helped throw CFC over the cliff to abandon their foolish scheme?

Naw, I doubt it.

Is Quebec an isolated case?  No, it's Canada-wide.  Dr. Nancy de With, DVM MSc, Epidemiologist with BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands gave a talk on this very subject on April 18, 2006 called "Antibiotic resistance of enteric bacteria in commercial broiler chickens in the Fraser Valley, BC" (original MS Powerpoint slides), or a DocStoc on-line version. Here is Slide 16 which shows up to 96% of the samples of the chicken's intestinal bacteria having SuperBug resistance to Class I (very high importance for humans), II (high importance for humans), or III (medium importance for humans) human antibiotics.

Broiler Chicken Bacteria have gained significant resistance to human antibiotics, likely due to the chronic
use of antibiotics to inject eggs, in the feed, and the water of chicken factories so as to maximize the profits
and reduce the business risk of millionaire chicken producers, regardless of the cost and risk to the public.
Unfortunately, all of these antibiotics, drugs, and chemicals in the feed &/or water fed to factory farmed foul chickens have created superbugs on retail chicken sold in grocery stores.

In 2010, Public Health Canada reported an extremely strong linkage (ie. the correlation describes 90% of all variation between ceftiofur-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg isolated from retail raw chicken and incidence of ceftiofur-resistant Salmonella serovar Heidelberg infections in humans across Canada.

Most people think of hospitals when they think of exposure to superbugs (ie. nosocomial infections ); some that cause life-long infections, or death.  However, today it is likely that the raw chicken in the grocery store is the greater threat, not hospitals.

The majority of households do not have repeated visits to the hospitals; most people are generally healthy.  However, virtually every family makes a weekly trip to the grocery store.  The higher frequency of exposure via the grocery store may make this the #1 risk to your family from Superbugs.

You may be a vegetarian, and never go near meat.  I hope you don't think that being a vegetarian will protect you from a Superbug infection originating from raw chicken?

Most people eat meat, and after they touch packages of raw chicken, they touch just about everything else in the grocery store that vegetarians and everybody else touches too; like the grocery carts, food display cases, and the handles on the freezer cases in the grocery stores.  Now that you also touched those same surfaces, that Superbug slime from the chicken wrapper is all over your hands too.  You'd better be careful what you touch next.

Oops!  You touched your lettuce in your cart when you re-adjusted its position so it wouldn't get squished by your other groceries.  The lettuce is now contaminated with chicken Superbug ooze, and those Superbugs won't fully wash off even if rinsed under running water at home.  Your salad now has an extra, secret ingredient that you did not intend to add.  Say thank-you to the Canadian factory farmed foul (chicken).

This story was initially broke by Margaret Munro's story in The StarPhoenix and/or O.Canada.com  (more comprehensive version).  Click the link and read the excellent history that puts the "smoking gun" in the hands of the CFC, while they stand over the dead bodies of their alleged victims, the Canadian public).  These stories seems to have been based on a related story in the Ottawa Citizen.

Ceftiofur antibiotic use causes the corresponding growth of superbugs
on chicken, and in human infections.  Quebec banned the use of
ceftiofur in chickens, and the superbug problem disappeared; first on the
chicken, then in humans, so Quebec allowed ceftiofur to start being used again.
The superbugs soon came back again, so Quebec banned ceftiofur  again.
Meanwhile in Ontario (also a superbug hotspot), neither the Ontario
government nor CFO did anything, as usual.  Above graph is from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2871348/
The Canadian Veterinary Journal and Public Health Canada sheds some additional light on the subject here, here, here, here, here and  here.  Here is the graph showing the Superbug hotspot data from Quebec and Ontario.

Searching CFC's website for "ceftiofur" so as to confirm this news flash yields nothing.  Searching for "antibiotic" gives CFC's standard propaganda justifying their fossilization and suspended animation of their self-serving and wrong headed policy on the permitted and recommended use of antibiotics to maximize chicken farmer profits; in spite of the growing evidence of their wrong-headed policies.
After May 15th, it is hoped that CFC and all other SM Mafia personnel will actually audit their henchmen to ensure their compliance with the new rules.  The greatest risk of all is some renegade chicken farmers who are greedy enough to continue buying their drug of choice on the black market, or ordering their corporate veterinarian to prescribe the drug of choice, or personally importing it, and feeding it to their flocks; callously continuing the risk for Canadian consumers.

US Centre for Disease Control released the following video in Sept. 2013 about antibiotic resistant diseases spreading throughout North America.


In the interim, here are SFPFC's recommendations to protect yourself from chicken superbugs in the grocery store and when you bring them home to your unsuspecting, innocent family members.

So CFC finally took action on this huge Superbug risk. Why did CFC take this action now?

Was it the end consumer's demands for change?  Was it CFC's deep empathy and caring for the needs and priorities of these potential victims of CFC's crazy plans?

Don't make me laugh!

CFC is a narcissistic organization, like the rest of the Chicken Mafia (see Individual and Organizational Narcissism ).

Narcissistic organizations tend not to identify and correct their previous errors.

I can only assume that behind the scenes, the Chief Vets of the Provinces and Federal Government, and/or Health Canada and Public Health Canada twisted CFC's arm, by saying "Take appropriate action to this threat to public health, or else!".

Maybe someday, we will know for sure.

Will CFC give Canadians their assurance that they will adequately police their members and ensure Mafia-style compliance with the Chicken Mafia Don's orders against the use of banned antibiotics?

If CFC is unwilling or unable to give us that assurance of comprehensive auditing to ensure compliance, then their banning of ceftiofur is a mere smokescreen to distract and mislead Canadians; true to their narcissistic character.

Don't hold your breath.

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