Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chicken Consumer Due Diligence

If the Chicken Mafia are surviving and prospering by spewing their propaganda far and wide, what can a consumer do to overcome the lies, half truths, and misleading omissions by the CAFO chicken factory owners and their henchmen?

Consumers must fight back with due diligence.

The above clip from the TV show Portlandia satirizes what well informed restaurant staff must go through to make a sale to overly conscientious guests who must know the provenance of the chicken on the menu.

It's funny because it went to an extreme.  It's sad, because that is what consumers are being forced to do more and more so as to overcome the Big Food propaganda machine.

Monday, January 18, 2016

C4: Canadian Campylobacter Contaminated Chicken

About half of Canada's chicken on retail store shelves is contaminated with campylobacter jejuni.

FoodNet Canada collects food safety surveillance samples at 3 different sentinal sites (Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta) on behalf of Public Health Agency of Canada.  In the 2014 Short Report of FoodNet Canada, they reported:
  • "In 2014, Campylobacter and Salmonella remained the most common causes of human enteric illness in the [three] sentinel sites",
  • "Campylobacter was the most prevalent pathogen found on skinless chicken breast in all sites with close to one-half of all samples testing positive.";
  • "In turkey [farms] in the BC [sentinal] site, Campylobacter was again the most common pathogen found in 2014, as in 2013. Campylobacter was also commonly found in beef and dairy manure samples in the ON [sentinal] site, as in previous years. Campylobacter prevalence in broiler chickens was variable across the [3 sentinal] sites, ranging from 8.7% - 22%.";
  • "...the 2014 FoodNet Canada sampling year have demonstrated that retail meat products, particularly chicken products, remain an important source of human enteric pathogens."
Perhaps Canada's Chicken Mafia thinks this level of chicken contamination is OK, because UK's CAFO chicken is 73% contaminated and US CAFO chicken is about 40% contaminated, so Canada's CAFO chicken is in the middle of the pack.

The common denominator across Canada, UK, and USA is their use of dysfunctional CAFO technologies, which causes serious problems in all countries that use CAFO.  Most unfortunately, those CAFO risks spill over to all countries who don't use CAFO.  Everybody on the planet gets impacted by CAFO, whether their country has used CAFO, or not.

Who Cares?

OK, so Canada's chicken is contaminated.  So what's the big deal?  Can't I just wash it off?  If I cook it properly, won't it kill the bugs?

Good questions.  Perhaps you don't have to worry.  On the other hand...

In the 2014-2015 year long study for the UK study of chicken in UK grocery stores , they found that 7% of the chicken packaging was contaminated with deadly bacteria on the exterior surface of the packaging.  I think it's reasonable to assume the same packaging contamination exists in Canada and USA.  Therefore:
  • When you pick up the package from the meat counter, those deadly bacteria are now all over your hands.  If you touch your mouth or eyes, you will likely be infected, and can get very sick.  If you touch your child, or your fresh vegetables, now they are contaminated too.
  • If your package of CAFO chicken brushes up against your fresh vegetables while they're in your shopping cart, you may die from this invisible mistake.
  • Somebody used your shopping cart before you arrived at the grocery store.  What will happen to you if that prior cart user handled or purchased CAFO contaminated chicken?  In that case, the inside of your grocery cart may be contaminated with deadly bacteria before you begin your shopping.  It isn't enough to sanitize just the handle of your shopping cart.

  • If you put your CAFO chicken into your reusable shopping bag to take it home, the contamination on the packaging exterior (plus any meat juice that oozes out of the package) has now contaminated your shopping bag.  How often do you sanitize the interior of your shopping bags?  Do you keep just one specially marked shopping bag for just CAFO chicken?  If you don't, the next time you go shopping, you may cross-contaminate your fresh produce and kill a family member.
    A HAZMAT suit, optional
    equipment for buying,
    storing, or cooking CAFO
    chicken in Canada
Have I got you scared yet?

Here are our recommendations on how to buy, store and cook CAFO chicken factory meat. So far, a HAZMAT suit is optional.

If you try to wash the bugs off your chicken, you will likely splash those bugs all over your kitchen counters and anything sitting on them within a 10 ft. radius from the sink.  Each micro drop splashing off the chicken can have enough bacteria to make a person seriously ill.

A scientific study has shown that the 50% probability of an infective dose of campylobacter for humans is approximately 900 cells; thus, the potential for human exposure to the bacteria through cross contamination, poor hygiene, or undercooking in the kitchen is high.

That is why public health officials recommend against washing the chicken before cooking.

Why don't they tell the public that a farmer with a sharp knife can kill and process a chicken with 96% less bacterial contamination than the CAFO chicken factories and their high speed processing lines?

Beyond the health risks, there is nutrition and taste.

Why don't they tell people there are alternatives to CAFO, such as pastured poultry, where no antibiotics are required, the birds are healthier and happier, the resulting meat is better tasting, and the nutrition levels in that pastured chicken is far superior to that produced by a CAFO system?

How Sick Will You Get?

How sick you get will depend upon your prior health, how big of a dose of bacteria you get, the state of your immune system, and how quickly you get the right medical help.

Campylobacter jejuni, has been recognized as a major cause of acute bacterial gastroenteritis in humans since the late 1970s and it is estimated that Campylobacter sp. are responsible for 400–500 million cases of diarrhea each year on a worldwide basis.

Prior to 1992, fluoroquinolone (FQ) antimicrobials (e.g., ciprofloxacin) resistance in Campylobacter was rarely observed in the USA and Canada, but several recent reports have indicated that approximately 19–47% of Campylobacter strains isolated from humans were resistant to ciprofloxacin.

That means it isn't a sure thing that a hospital can cure you of a campylobacter infection by using antibiotics.  If it gets bad, you could die, or have a few feet length of your bowl removed during emergency surgery.

This Blog has previously reported on the mis-use of ciprofloxin by the Chicken Mafia.  All CAFO chicken factories are supposed to be monitored by the supreme Chicken Farmers of Canada ("CFC"), as well as their respective provincial Chicken Mafia boss.  In spite of this alleged monitoring and supervision, more than one CAFO chicken factory was caught using illegal feed laced with this antibiotic; a ploy to maximize that CAFO farmer's profit and minimize their risk, in spite of the added risks to the public from their bad behaviour.  Fortunately, Public Health Canada discovered their plot, found them, and stopped them from continuing to feed this illegal antibiotic to chickens that produce eggs for hatching into meat birds.

The circle closes.  Campylobacter resistance to ciprofloxin is rapidly growing, likely caused or contributed to by the mis-use of this drug by the Chicken Mafia.  Unfortunately, it isn't just ciprofloxin where the mis-use of antibiotics occur.

Public Health Agency of Canada has reported that:
 "each year there are 4000 hospitalizations (range 3200–4800) and 105 (range 75–139) deaths associated with domestically acquired foodborne illness related to 30 known pathogens and 7600 (range 5900–9650) hospitalizations and 133 (range 77–192) deaths associated with unspecified agents, for atotal estimate of 11,600 (range 9250–14,150) hospitalizations and 238 (range 155–323) deaths associated with domestically acquired foodborne illness in Canada."
"Key pathogens associated with these hospitalizations or deaths include norovirus, nontyphoidal Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., VTEC O157 and Listeria monocytogenes"
"These estimates of hospitalizations and deaths capture only a part of the burden for all pathogens as they only account for acute illness and do not include hospitalizations or deaths related to chronic sequelae associated with the original infection (e.g., Guillain-Barre´ syndrome associated with Campylobacter spp.). Additional work to better understand the burden of chronic sequelae associated with foodborne pathogens in Canada is needed to inform Disability-Adjusted Life Years and cost estimates and facilitate international comparisons."

Those who become infected by campylobacter sometimes develop Guillain–Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease where, instigated by the campylobacter infection, the body attacks the nerves, dissolving the myelin sheath on the nerves, resulting in numbness, nerve tingling, paralysis, and other serious symptoms.  In the worst case, you can no longer breath, just like in polio, so you get placed on a respirator.  Since the widespread vaccination for polio, Guillain–Barré syndrome has become the #1 cause of flaccid paralysis which puts people onto respirators. 

One study found that campylobacter infections caused 30 cases of  Guillain–Barré syndrome per 100,000 persons infected with campylobacter.  The risk of developing Guillain–Barré syndrome is 100 times greater due to campylobacter than all other causes of this disease.

The National Institute of Health says:
  • "there is no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome."
  • "Guillain-Barré syndrome can be a devastating disorder because of its sudden and unexpected onset. In addition, recovery is not necessarily quick. As noted above, patients usually reach the point of greatest weakness or paralysis days or weeks after the first symptoms occur. Symptoms then stabilize at this level for a period of days, weeks, or, sometimes, months. The recovery period may be as little as a few weeks or as long as a few years. About 30 percent of those with Guillain-Barré still have a residual weakness after 3 years. About 3 percent may suffer a relapse of muscle weakness and tingling sensations many years after the initial attack. Guillain-Barré syndrome patients face not only physical difficulties, but emotionally painful periods as well. It is often extremely difficult for patients to adjust to sudden paralysis and dependence on others for help with routine daily activities. Patients sometimes need psychological counseling to help them adapt."
In short, if the government allows CAFO chicken factories to continue causing campylobacter outbreaks, the Chicken Mafia are being allowed to play with fire, and it's you and me who get tossed into that fire.

Mis-Use of Antibiotics

As mentioned in yesterday's Blog posting about the MCR-1 fiasco, this mis-use of important antibiotics by CAFO factories has been going on for more than 46 years.

It's about time the government brought it to a full and complete stop.

Unfortunately, the government's current plan is to coast into the next exit ramp, then take a different antibiotic highway (ie. the back roads), so that it isn't so obvious that the Chicken Mafia will continue doing what they do best, screwing and endangering the public so they can maximize their profits.

The Chicken Mafia are already multi-millionaires.  Why do the Chicken Mafia have to put the whole planet at risk so they can earn an artificially higher income?

I guess they feel being a multi-millionaire isn't enough, they want to be a billionaire.