Infection research within organic bred pigs
Animals reared in natural, outdoor conditions without
modern drugs may not necessarily yield healthier meat according to research
published in the New Scientist.
Researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus
tested US pigs for antibodies - telltale signs of infection - to pathogens that
can also affect humans. They found traces of Salmonella
in 39 per cent of pigs raised in standard indoor
pens and routinely given antibiotics, but in 54 per cent of organic pigs raised
outdoors without the drugs.
They also found traces of the parasite
Toxoplasma, carried by cats and other animals, in 1 per cent of conventional
pigs but 7 per cent of free-range
Furthermore, the US team found
two organic pigs with signs of infection with Trichinella
, a roundworm that can cause chronic disease and
even kill when people eat undercooked pork. Trichinella is nearly eradicated in
livestock in the the US and Europe, though it persists in wildlife. Finding it
in two pigs of the 600 tested is 23 times its average frequency in US
â€¢ New Scientist
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