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Bladder Infections from Eating Chicken

How we treat animals can sometimes have public health implications. Who can forget the Humane Society of the United States investigation in which dairy cows too sick and crippled to walk were bulldozed by forklifts and dragged with chains to slaughter by a leading supplier of beef to the federal school lunch program? The investigation triggered the largest meat recall in U.S. history for violations of regulations meant to keep the public safe from mad cow disease. In response, California passed a law to strengthen protection of downed farm animals from abuse, but it was largely nullified by the Supreme Court last month at the behest of the pork industry, who would stand to lose the most if downed animals were removed from the food supply.

Last week, a new undercover investigation of leading pork producers—including a supplier of Walmart—uncovered institutionalized abuses, including the confinement of pregnant pigs in “gestation crates,” virtually immobilizing them their entire lives. What impact might this have on human health? In collaboration with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, a prestigious body that included a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, concluded that industrialized animal agriculture posed “unacceptable” public health risks and specifically called for an end to gestation crates, noting that “practices that restrict natural motion, such as sow gestation crates, induce high levels of stress in the animals and threaten their health, which in turn may threaten our health.”

The Commission also called for an end to “battery cages” for egg-laying hens. In addition to increasing Salmonella risk, these barren wire cages may increase the risk of colibacillosis, a bacterial infection in poultry linked to human bladder infections. More in my NutritionFacts.org video pick today that’s featured above.

Half of retail poultry samples were found contaminated with strains of E. coli linked to human urinary tract infections. How contaminated is the American meat supply with fecal matter overall? See what the USDA found in my NutritionFacts.org video Fecal Bacteria Survey.

On January 1, 2012, all 27 nations of the European Union banned the use of barren battery cages for egg-laying hens. And January 1, 2013, the EU will also ban the lifelong confinement of pregnant pigs in gestation crates. Please consider sending a message to U.S. pork producers to follow suit for the health and welfare of both the animals and consumers.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Image credit: MarxFoods.com / Flickr

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org.

71 comments

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12:48PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

Lady Soma cranberry Supplement works great if you have a bladder infection. I got it and took two a day for a few days and mine was relieved quite a bit. Now keep in mind, I have then pretty regularly, so that's why I took two a day .

If you are healthy and have an occasional urinary tract infection , this might be the ticket.
Cheers :-)

12:46PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

Lady Soma cranberry Supplement works great if you have a bladder infection. I got it and took two a day for a few days and mine was relieved quite a bit. Now keep in mind, I have then pretty regularly, so that's why I took two a day .

If you are healthy and have an occasional urinary tract infection , this might be the ticket.
Cheers :-)

6:32AM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:23PM PDT on May 23, 2012

why cant they just have things like they WERE, chickens and cows and pigs on farms with grass and sunlight? I dont understand. All for a few dollars. But without your humanity what good is money?

12:57PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Corporate greed is putting us all in a severe health situation and they don't care at all . The government should be STOPPING them . I've been studying Alternative Medication for a long time and knew that a healthy life depends on how happy that life is. It wouldn't take much to know that though and I would hope others help in seeing that somethings done to handle this correctly.

8:26PM PDT on May 15, 2012

I suffer from chronic bladder infections and before I discovered Lady Soma's Cranberry Supplements, I was at the doctor's office about every 3 months. I have been taking the Lady Soma Cranberry every day for about 6 months now and I have not had to go back to the doctor.

7:30AM PDT on May 12, 2012

Traci K, may I suggest that you also consider how your daughter prepares her chicken--does she wash her hands before and after handling it? does she wash and disinfect the preparation area surface (cutting board or counter top)? E-coli can be passed along almost anywhere and from almost anything. Has she checked on the place the chicken meat comes from? where it's raised? where it's processed, etc? Then ask the lab that says it's showing up in her urine what they think it's coming from, and what they recommend doing. If you can talk her into not eating chicken for a couple of weeks, that may be enough to see if it is caused by the chicken. Hope this helps.

7:32PM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:27PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Thank you, Learned a lot

2:04PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

My daughter has been in the care of a Urologist at St. Louis Childrens Hospital since August of 2010 with constant urinary tract infections (just about every month). She eats nothing but chicken, can this be the cause? Everytime they test her she has E Coli in her urine sample????

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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