Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Head in sand approach to superbug a public threat

Head in sand approach to superbug a public health threat

Green Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the new Food Safety Agency's response to the possible link between the feeding of the antibiotic apramycin to food animals and the emergence of a new, deadly superbug in New Zealand was totally inadequate.

"It is head in sand stuff," Ms Kedgley said.

"The Ministry's Director of Agricultural Compounds suggests that because the antibiotic is only available under a prescription from a vet there is no need for a proactive strategy to reduce its use or for urgent testing on animals to establish whether the superbug's emergence is linked with the use of apramycin in agriculture.

"For years MAF has been insisting there is no link between the feeding of antibiotics to animals and the emergence of resistance in humans. Now that the link is emerging, it is continuing with its head in the sand stance, failing to take a proactive approach and essentially leaving it to an over-stretched and under-funded health system to cope with the consequences," said Ms Kedgley.

"Instead of leaving it up to the medical system to cope with this outbreak in hospitals, MAF and the new Ministry of Food Safety ought to be taking a lead role in carrying out tests on animals to see whether the strain of the bacterium, serratio marcescans, that is causing the superbug in humans is the same as the serratio bacterium found in animals.

"It should also be undertaking a review of the use of apramycin in animals, and taking urgent steps to eliminate its use on food animals such as pigs and chickens."

Ms Kedgley said the Food Agency acknowledges that it has known for some time that the use of apramycin in food animals might encourage resistance to human medicines.

"This begs the question, if they know this, why on earth are they allowing New Zealand producers to continue to feed the drug to animals?

"This new and deadly superbug has already killed two people and been found in 271 cases across the country," Ms Kedgley said.

"What will it take to get the Ministry to take the issue seriously and prohibit the feeding of antibiotics to animals that are known to encourage resistance in humans?"

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron

Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga

The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...


Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>

Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>

Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>

Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>




InfoPages News Channels