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False Advertising Lawsuit Against Poultry CAFO Will Proceed

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There’s overwhelming evidence showing that antibiotic use in livestock is driving the rise in antibiotic resistance, and many poultry producers — including Tyson Foods,1 Perdue2 and Pilgrim’s Pride — have taken steps to curb antibiotic use in their live poultry production.

In recent years, a number of grocery and restaurant chains have also vowed to stop buying and selling chicken raised with antibiotics. Examples include Whole Foods Market, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Panera Bread and even McDonald’s.

Six of the largest school districts in the U.S. (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade County and Orlando County) have also switched to antibiotic-free chicken in their cafeterias.

In contrast, Sanderson Farms,3 the third-largest poultry producer in the U.S., has stood firm against the tide of calls to reduce antibiotic use, vowing to continue using the drugs in their chickens, going so far as to use it as a selling point,4,5 while simultaneously advertising their chicken as “100% Natural.”

A lawsuit filed against the company last year, charging Sanderson Farms with false advertising, is now moving forward. At the same time, Sanderson has announced it will discontinue using antibiotics deemed important for human health for disease prevention purposes in their production — a radical change in stance that shows public pressure is paying off.

For Years, Sanderson Farms Has Refused to Yield to Call for Antibiotic-Free Chicken

Remarkably, Sanderson Farms’ CEO Joe Sanderson Jr. has actually gone on record saying antibiotics don’t cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and that the shift away from antibiotics is nothing more than a marketing ploy to justify higher prices.6

Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms, has also stated “There is not any credible science that leads us to believe we’re causing antibiotic resistance in humans.”7 In a 2016 press release, the company said:8

“While Sanderson Farms recognizes that antibiotic resistance is an issue that must be taken seriously, many industry experts agree the issue is related to the overuse and over-prescription of antibiotics in humans, and more closely linked to medical institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes, rather than agricultural processes that have been in place for decades.”

All of this despite ample amounts of research demonstrating the very real dangers of agricultural antibiotic use. Sanderson has also attempted to confuse people by pointing out that no commercially sold chicken — whether treated with antibiotics or not — will contain antibiotics by the time you buy it since the antibiotics must be stopped in time before slaughter to ensure the drugs are no longer in the animals’ system.

However, this doesn’t address the actual concerns about antibiotic use in chickens, because even if the antibiotics are no longer present in the meat, the resistant bacteria are present and they are the primary problem.

When animals are given antibiotics, it promotes drug resistance in the microbes found in and on the animal, and those drug-resistant bacteria can then be spread to those who handle or eat the tainted meat. This is true whether the chicken contains traces of antibiotics or not. So, while eating trace amounts of antibiotics is a concern,9 it’s not the most significant one.

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How Sanderson Defended Its Continued Use of Antibiotics

In 2015, Food Business News quoted a statement from Sanderson Farms that said:10 “[A]fter doing our homework, we do not plan to withdraw antibiotics from our program, and there are three main reasons.

1. Animal welfare — “We feel like we need to take care of the animals in our care … There’s one thing that you cannot take care of if you don’t use antibiotics and that is enteritis in the chicken… Particularly when there’s no evidence whatsoever that using these antibiotics really does cause antibiotic resistant bacteria.”

2. Sustainability and environmental responsibility — “It’s going to take more chicken houses, more electricity, more water, more acres of corn and more acres of soybeans … So you’re going to have to grow these chickens longer and use all that to achieve the same market weight.”

3. Food safety — “We have all been busting our behinds to reduce the microbiology loads, the microorganism loads, on these chickens coming to the plants. And everybody knows what happened in Europe when they took antibiotics away.

All those loads went up on the chicken. So you’re talking food safety. You take antibiotics out, and you’re going to have more campylobacter, more salmonella …”

Sanderson’s stance clearly flies in the face of science. If you cause antibiotic resistance to develop in the animals, you’re inevitably causing it in humans. Recent research11 has even linked drug-resistant infections in more 100 people to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in puppies given antibiotics prophylactically!

Lance Price, head of George Washington University’s Antibiotic Resistance Action Center, called the findings “shocking,” saying,12 “This is an important study that’s shining a light on something that we need to spend more time on.” According to the authors of the report:

Outbreak isolates were resistant by antibiotic susceptibility testing to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections. This outbreak demonstrates that puppies can be a source of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections in humans, warranting a closer look at antimicrobial use in the commercial dog industry.”

Drug-Resistant Bacteria in and on Food Can Have Very Real Impact on Human Health

A 2015 mortality and morbidity report13 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed just how difficult it’s been to curb these pathogenic bacteria, with prevalence of some types of drug-resistant bacteria falling while others are taking over in their stead.

In 2014 alone, more than 19,540 Americans contracted confirmed drug-resistant infections from food, and 71 of them died as a result. A report commissioned by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron estimates that by 2050 antibiotic resistance will have killed 300 million people; the annual global death toll reaching 10 million.14

In November 2017, a report15 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also revealed the number of Americans infected with multidrug-resistant Salmonella via contaminated food is on the rise, increasing from 9 percent in 2014 to 12 percent in 2015, and poultry is a primary source of these infections.

According to the FDA, the Salmonella was resistant to as many as four first-line antibiotics. So, for Sanderson to claim that antibiotic use in their poultry production has no bearing on human health is a shameful denial of scientific facts.

Tests Reveal Sanderson’s ‘All-Natural’ Chicken Is Anything But

Adding insult to injury, Sanderson Farms advertises their chicken as 100 percent natural, its slogan being that the only thing in their chicken is chicken.16 However, last summer, tests conducted by the National Residue Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service revealed a number of questionable and potentially hazardous drugs in Sanderson’s chicken, including but not limited to:

  • Ketamine (a hallucinogenic party drug)
  • Prednisone (a steroid)
  • Ketoprofen (an anti-inflammatory)
  • Penicillin (for which the residue regulatory limit is zero)
  • The synthetic growth hormone melengestrol acetate and the beta agonist ractopamine — two substances banned in poultry production

Sanderson Sued Over Their Use of ‘100% Natural’ Claim

In response to these findings, Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit against Sanderson June 22, 2017, alleging the company’s “100% Natural” claim is false and misleading, as testing reveals their chickens contain human and veterinary antibiotics, tranquilizers, growth hormones, steroids and pesticides.17

The plaintiffs seek “accounting of profits, injunctive relief, corrective advertising and attorney’s fees.” At the time, a representative for the Organic Consumers Association said,18 “Sanderson’s advertising claims are egregiously misleading to consumers, and unfair to competitors. The organic and free­-range poultry sector would be growing much more rapidly if consumers knew the truth about Sanderson’s products and false advertising.”

Since its filing last year, the lawsuit has been dismissed twice. It turns out the third time was the charm. Meat + Poultry recently reported19 Sanderson’s motion to dismiss the case, filed for the third time, was denied and the case will finally move forward. Kari Hamerschlag, deputy director of Food and Agriculture at Friends of the Earth, commented on the judge’s decision:20

“After years of misleading the public and denying the public health risks associated with overuse of antibiotics in animal production, we welcome the judges’ decision to allow our lawsuit against Sanderson Farms to continue.”

 Meat + Poultry further reports:21

“Sanderson argued that the plaintiffs’ allegations were insufficient to support the litigation, and that the plaintiffs cannot challenge the company’s ‘100% Natural’ slogan without considering the full context of an advertisement in which the slogan is used.

But U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg disagreed, writing ‘… Review, to the contrary, is limited to the four corners of a specific webpage at issue. No authority suggests a reasonable consumer is expected to search a company’s entire website (or certainly all of a company’s statements across all forms of advertisements) to find all possible disclaimers.

This is not akin to disclaimers being adjacent to the challenged statements. Although the reasonable consumer standard demands that a plaintiff must show ‘more than a mere possibility’ that a challenged advertisement might conceivably mislead a few consumers … it does not ask they be private investigators as defendant appears to suggest.’

Writing about Sanderson’s ‘Bob and Dale’ commercials, Seeborg wrote: ‘By criticizing its competitor’s advertising as misleading to consumers, Sanderson’s commercial is likely to mislead reasonable consumers into believing that Sanderson products were no different than its competitors who never used antibiotics in their chicken production.

Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged Sanderson’s actions are likely to mislead reasonable consumers to believe Sanderson’s products are the same as competitors that never administer antibiotics during their production, for which a reasonable consumer is willing to pay a premium.'”

Years of Public Pressure on Sanderson Farms Is Paying Off

In May 2016, I urged you to pressure Sanderson Farms to come to its senses and join other major poultry producers in taking proactive steps to reduce its antibiotic use. Earlier this year, investors also started applying pressure, urging Sanderson Farms to reconsider their routine use of the drugs.

According to Reuters,22 a proposal to end the use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention in chickens “received the support of 43 percent of votes cast at the company’s annual meeting,” held February 15, 2018. That’s 13 percent higher than a similar proposal presented in 2017, when only 30 percent of investors voted to end the company’s use of antibiotics.

It now seems all this pressure is finally starting to pay off. November 30, 2018, Sanderson announced23,24 it will discontinue two antibiotics deemed “medically important for humans for disease prevention” by March 1, 2019. The antibiotics in question are gentamicin (used in chicks) and virginiamycin (added to chicken feed).

According to Sanderson’s press release,25 “The change follows the completion of an independent study the Company commissioned earlier this year on its antibiotics program for its live operations.”

While the company-commissioned study “found no misuse of antibiotics at Sanderson Farms or other deficiencies in its program,” the advisory board concluded that “[a] move by [Sanderson Farms] to a system where nonmedically important antibiotics . . . can be used for prevention, and medically important antibiotics can be used for treatment and control of disease, could represent a responsible compromise to better preserve efficacy of antibiotics important for human health, while also avoiding the adverse impacts … on chicken health and welfare.”

For clarity, Sanderson will still use antibiotics to treat and control disease. It is not a blanket elimination of antibiotics from their production; they just won’t use these two medically necessary antibiotics for the prevention of disease. Still, it’s a small step in the right direction.

Rebecca Spector, west coast director at Center for Food Safety, commented on the judge’s ruling to proceed with their lawsuit, and on Sanderson’s decision to stop using medically important antibiotics:26

“We are pleased that this lawsuit can now move forward and believe that Sanderson Farms is taking a good first step toward eliminating the use of medically important antibiotic use in livestock production.

We hope Sanderson will utilize a third-party certifier to verify these production practices so that consumers can be assured that these chickens were raised without routine use of antibiotics.”

Tell Sanderson What You Think of Their 100% Natural Claim

Sanderson Farms is the lone holdout for routine antibiotic use in poultry production. Considering they’re the third largest poultry producer in the U.S., they can have a big impact on antibiotic-resistant disease and human health. While it’s great news that the lawsuit against the company is moving forward, you can still push for change by contacting Joe Sanderson directly, to let him know that antibiotic-free does indeed matter.

You can use their online Contact Page to write them an email or, better yet, call them at 1-800-844-4030, or write a letter to:

Sanderson Farms

Attn: Joe Sanderson, CEO

PO Box 988

Laurel, MS 39441

Strategies to Protect Yourself and Limit Spread of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

For years, experts have warned we may soon be at a point where virtually all antibiotics fail, and once that happens, it will be devastating to modern medicine. What can you do to minimize your risk? Three key recommendations that can help reduce your risk for antibiotic-resistant infections include:

  1. Avoiding antibiotics unless your infection is severe enough to warrant it
  2. Staying out of hospitals as much as possible — Treatment using medical scopes is particularly risky.27 Also remember that antibiotics do not work for viral infections such as cold or flu
  3. Buying only organic or biodynamic grass fed meats and animal products — Remember nearly all meat served in restaurants and on planes are raised in factory farms and therefore more prone to contamination with potentially drug-resistant bacteria

The following practical in-home suggestions will also reduce your risk:

1. Avoid antibacterial household products such as antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers and wipes, as these promote antibiotic resistance by allowing the strongest bacteria to survive and thrive in your home.

2. Properly wash your hands with warm water and plain soap, to prevent the spread of bacteria — Be particularly mindful of washing your hands and kitchen surfaces after handling raw meats, as about half of all meat sold in American grocery stores is likely to be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Avoid antibiotic soaps that typically have dangerous chemicals like triclosan.

3. Take commonsense precautions in the kitchen — Kitchens are notorious breeding grounds for disease-causing bacteria, courtesy of contaminated meat products, including antibiotic-resistant strains of E-coli. To avoid cross-contamination between foods in your kitchen, adhere to the following recommendations:

Use a designated cutting board, preferably wood, not plastic, for raw meat and poultry, and never use this board for other food preparation, such as cutting up vegetables. Color coding your cutting boards is a simple way to distinguish between them.

To sanitize your cutting board, use hot water and detergent. Simply wiping it off with a rag will not destroy the bacteria. Coconut oil can be used to clean, treat and sanitize your wooden cutting boards. It’s loaded with lauric acid that has potent antimicrobial actions. The fats will also help condition the wood.

For an inexpensive, safe and effective kitchen counter and cutting board sanitizer, use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Keep each liquid in a separate spray bottle, and then spray the surface with one, followed by the other, and wipe off.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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