In the wake of Nick Kristof’s column on MRSA infections among hog farmers, Obamafoodorama found evidence of Big Pig (the National Pork Board) conspiring with the CDC in prepping its response. And after all that, this is the best they could come up with:
“They are making a huge leap attributing MRSA in these people to hogs,” says Angela DeMirjyn, science communications manager for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). The pork organization has been researching MRSA for some time, says DeMirjyn, and supports the CDC’s statement that most community acquired MRSA infections are caused by a different bacteria than is commonly associated with pigs or pig farms.
There. Now don’t you feel better? They’re all over it like flies on, well, you get the point. They have, as that nameless intelligence bureaucrat assured Indiana Jones as regards research into the Ark of the Covenant, “top men working on it right now.” Top men, indeed.
But wait, there’s even more rhetorical emptiness waiting for you:
“We also know that MRSA is not just staph bacteria that can be found in pigs, it also can be found in horses, dogs and even marine animals. It is not a problem that is solely related to pigs,” DeMirjyn says.
MRSA, in fact, can be found anywhere in nature, according to Paul Ebner, a livestock microbiologist at Purdue University. While he says there has been an increase in the number of these infections and that pigs and other animals can be carriers, the vast majority of infections come from skin-to-skin contact with infected humans.
You know, I think these folks just might be panicked. Funny, Tom Philpott and I (at Ezra Klein’s blog) covered the “MRSA in pigs” issue recently – it didn’t get quite this reaction. I guess the Gray Lady has life in her yet.