On Wednesday, 27th July 2011 the Rijnstate Hospital at Arnhem called up a few hundred former patients to undergo a test for the presence of the MRSA bacterium. The past few months this bacterium has apparently infected twelve patients.
The hospital does not seem to care. About thirty people in the Rijnstate Hospital become infected each year. So far this concerns different variants of MRSA. By placing patients who are diagnosed with MRSA immediately in quarantine, the problem has been kept under control a little so far.
What worries the doctors is that patients who are infected now all have the same MRSA variant. This makes it likely that it concerns a very contagious variant. Obviously the quarantine did not work.
So now the Arnhem MRSA variant is free and for the time being this bacterium can spread undisturbed through skin-to-skin contact.
According to the doctors, it is true that MRSA cannot be fought with antibiotics, but there is no reason at all to panic. The bacterium is only lethal when one is very old or suffers from a disease. That is what the doctors say.
Meanwhile the German authorities have declared the EHEC outbreak to be officially
over. There are no more new patients who report themselves. Since the outbreak in May, 4321 people have become ill with the variant of the E. coli bacterium. Due to the bacterium 852 people started to suffer from severe kidney problems. Fifty two of them died; fifty in Germany, one in Sweden and one in the United States.
A large amount of antibiotics was and is used in cattle breeding. Dutch cattle breeding is the leader in this field and thus by far the biggest evildoer. Apparently there is no other industry like Dutch factory farming where so many kilos of antibiotics find their way into the stomachs of animals.
The remedy is badly needed as a medicine, because the circumstances in chicken runs, pigsties and cowsheds are so bad that even the thought of it makes the animals sick. And so the Dutch cattle are given antibiotics as a preventative measure on a large scale.
Even if the animals would not get sick, the antibiotics are still given to them, because obviously this remedy is a very effective growth stimulator. That is why it is not allowed to use it as a growth stimulator anymore, but if it is used preventatively against diseases it is still allowed. Of course the farmer cannot be blamed for the side effects, like producing faster and more kilogrammes of meat per square meter. Anyway, that is not the reason why he gives the antibiotics, so his hands are clean.
And so the use of antibiotics in cattle breeding since the ban in 2005 has not lowered, but increased. And the authorities? Despite all the warnings for the disastrous consequences of the excessive use of antibiotics in factory farming, they just looked at it and did not take any actions.
Meanwhile Secretary of State for Agriculture Bleker is aiming that in 2013 the use of antibiotics in cattle breeding will be halved. The farming lobby has agreed to this plan and said that the use of antibiotics should be brought down. But they immediately added that halving the amount is impossible.
For quite some time farmers inform each other through their forums how they can bring down the use of antibiotics: no longer with the assistance of a vet, but through the Internet.
This has two advantages. It is cheaper and it is not registered anymore. Subsequently the use goes down in the statistics and the farmer, in accordance with the statistics, does what the Secretary of State requests.
It is the usual peasant's cunning in the countryside that constantly tries to avoid the rules that protect man, animal and the environment; and this is only done to line their own pockets.
Because that is the aim of the highly dangerous game of Russian roulette in which cattle breeding is involved: maximizing profits through the lowest cost price possible.
Meanwhile it is estimated that every year about 8000 people die in European hospitals due tot the latest creation from Pandora's box that factory farming has brought us: ESBL.
This is a protein that has become immune to all types of antibiotics and that can adhere to nearly every type of bacterium. And so it will not take long before one might die of a simple cold.
For the year 2007 the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Control) has estimated the number of deaths in the European Union at 25,000. According to the ECDC, that same year the costs for antibiotic resistance rose to 1.5 billion euros.
Cattle breeders stubbornly shrug their shoulders about the casualties: it is just an estimate, so it is likely it has been exaggerated. Besides, those people were already ill. And the costs? 'Well,' the farmer says. 'Those are for the civilians, so that is neither our problem.'
In this way cattle breeding is playing a game of poker with your health and also expects you to pay the bill. With some bad luck you will soon be paying the highest price: then you will have to pay for the cattle breeding's poker game with your life.