Meat that is advertised as pesticide- and antibiotic-free, and sold at a premium for it, may have been kept apart from these dangerous chemicals, but apparently antibiotic-resistant bacteria didn't get the memo. A new study found that superbugs contaminate this type of meat as well.
Pigs raised both conventionally and organically show similar concentrations of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in samples, despite the advertised differences between the ways these farm animals were grown.
This bacterium is responsible for more than 76,000 infections and 18,000 deaths annually, in the United States alone, so this issue is not to be taken lightly. Official statistics indicate that as many as 1.5 percent of all Americans carry MRSA, ScienceNow
The new research was conducted by epidemiologist Tara Smith, who is based at the University of Iowa College of Public Health in Iowa City.