Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is your Thanksgiving turkey on drugs?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Ooh, pretty colors: Your turkey on drugs
  • Ooh, pretty colors: Your turkey on drugs
It’ll soon be time to get together with loved ones, and not-so-loved ones although you keep trying, and celebrate all the things we’re thankful for this year. For instance, I'm thankful for those folks in Washington who make sure our Thanksgiving turkey will be wholesome and healthy. That’s something to be grateful for, right? Hmmm, maybe not. There’s an important article you should read before purchasing that Butterball, written by nationally respected health writer Martha Rosenberg. It’s an eye-opener, but unfortunately in shocking ways.

No, this isn’t the usual holiday “beware of hormones” story, although those play a part. Here’s a brief excerpt: In May, it was reported “that half of U.S. meat from major grocery chains ... harbors antibiotic-resistant staph germs commonly called MRSA. Turkey had twice and even three times the MRSA of all other meats.” Well, isn’t that nice? Happy holidays in the hospital!

Oh, and in June, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced it’s going to stop using chicken feed containing arsenic — which no one knew they were eating anyhow — but, guess what? They’re still going to feed it to turkeys. In addition, salmonella outbreaks in turkey processing plants are at an all-time high — 36 million pounds of ground turkey were recalled by just one company, Cargill, because of a salmonella outbreak which killed one person and caused 107 illnesses in 31 states.

Now, it’s true that germs in turkey and other meat are neutralized by cooking. Unfortunately, though, drug residues are not. Rosenberg reveals that a report from the USDA's inspector general accused American slaughterhouses of giving the public foods with excessive drug levels in them, and charged that, "The effects of these residues on human beings who consume such meat are a growing concern." So, keep all this in mind when you gather 'round the table on Thursday. I know I will — which is why I'm giving thanks this year that we're not having turkey.

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