The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
More people could die from routine medical procedures as antibiotics lose their effectiveness, health chief warns
Patients should use antibiotics less because their ineffectiveness against potentially fatal bacteria is growing at a rate as alarming as climate change, the chief medical officer warns.
More people could die from routine medical procedures such as heart surgery unless doctors and patients change their habits to tackle growing antibiotic resistance, Dame Sally Davies says.
Patients need to stop using antibiotics to tackle mild infections, she says, adding: “Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is alarming and irreversible – similar to global warming.”
Without a major drop in antibiotic use, more people with hard-to-treat infections such as multi-resistant E coli may die, and an untreatable form of gonorrhoea may spread as cures for infection disappear. The lack of new antibiotics in development threatens to compound the problem, Davies adds.
Most coughs, sore throats and cases of sinusitis and earache get better without antibiotics, according to advice from the Health Protection Agency. Patients should stop expecting their GP to give them antibiotics for such illnesses because that puts doctors under pressure to prescribe them unnecessarily, said Dr Cliodna McNulty, a microbiologist at the HPA. The Royal College of GPs has updated its members on ways of reducing antibiotic use. …
Are we also destroying our immune systems with GMO products and with pesticides? Loss of resistance to normally harmless microbes is how Glyphosate kills plants. By removing micro nutrients, this killer chemical destroys natural immunity. Plants in sterile soil sprayed with it will not be killed by it.
In 2007 glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector, with 180 to 185 million pounds (82,000 to 84,000 tonnes) applied, and the second most used in home and garden market where users applied 5 to 8 million pounds (2,300 to 3,600 tonnes); additionally industry, commerce and government applied 13 to 15 million pounds (5,900 to 6,800 tonnes). While glyphosate has been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide and is widely used, concerns about is effects on humans and the environment persist.
… The New York Times reported that in 1996, “Dennis C. Vacco, the Attorney General of New York, ordered the company to pull ads that said Roundup was “safer than table salt” and “practically nontoxic” to mammals, birds and fish. The company withdrew the spots, but also said that the phrase in question was permissible under E.P.A. guidelines.” On Fri Jan 20, 2007, Monsanto was convicted in France of false advertising of Roundup for presenting it as biodegradable, and claiming it left the soil clean after use. Environmental and consumer rights campaigners brought the case in 2001 on the basis that glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, is classed as “dangerous for the environment” and “toxic for aquatic organisms” by the European Union. Monsanto appealed and the court upheld the verdict; Monsanto appealed again to the French Supreme Court, and in 2009 it also upheld the verdict.
On two occasions, the United States EPA has caught scientists deliberately falsifying test results at research laboratories hired by Monsanto to study glyphosate. The first incident involved Industrial Biotest Laboratories (IBT). The United States Justice Department closed the laboratory in 1978, and its leadership was found guilty in 1983 of charges of falsifying statements, falsifying scientific data submitted to the government, and mail fraud. In 1991, Don Craven, the owner of Craven Laboratories and three employees were indicted on 20 felony counts. Craven, along with fourteen employees were found guilty of similar crimes. Monsanto has stated the Craven Labs investigation was started by the EPA after a pesticide industry task force discovered irregularities, that the studies have been repeated, and that Roundup’s EPA certification does not now use any studies from Craven Labs or IBT.