Nils Mulvad

Nils Mulvad

Editor at Kaas & Mulvad, associate professor at The Danish School of Media and Journalism

Recent Posts

MRSA superbug found in supermarket pork raises alarm over farming risks

Andre, a farm worker in Denmark, who has the infection, which has developed into spots on his skin.

The discovery on UK shelves of pork contaminated with a livestock strain of MRSA prompts calls to curb misuse of antibiotics in intensive farming. Pork sold by several leading British supermarkets has been found to be contaminated with a strain of the superbug MRSA that is linked to the overuse of powerful antibiotics on factory farms, a Guardian investigation has revealed. Livestock-associated MRSA CC398, which originates in animals, has been found in pork products sold in Sainsbury’s, Asda, the Co-operative and Tesco. Of the 100 packets of pork chops, bacon and gammon tested by the Guardian, nine – eight Danish and one Irish – were found to have been infected with CC398. CC398 in meat, which poses little risk to the British public, can be transmitted by touching infected meat products or coming into contact with contaminated livestock or people, although it can be killed through cooking. Continue Reading →

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What is the superbug LA-MRSA CC398 and why is it spreading on farms?

Use of antibiotics in intensive farming has risen as pigs and other livestock are kept in ever more crowded conditions.

The threat of MRSA in hospitals has generated an urgent response, but an MRSA variant is spreading from farm livestock to supermarket meat unchecked.  

MRSA is best known in the UK for causing hospital-acquired infections – and many deaths. There has been little human to human transmission of the superbug in the community, but it is particularly dangerous in hospitals because it can colonise wounds easily, especially where patients’ immunity is low. It has been associated with poor hygiene in hospitals, but the main factor behind the spread of MRSA has been the over-prescription of antibiotics, which has allowed a rather mundane germ that lives on many of our bodies without causing any problems to become far more dangerous to human health. CC398, a new variant of MRSA, emerged in animals and is found in intensively farmed animals (primarily pigs, but also cows and chickens), from where it can be transmitted to humans. Continue Reading →

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130 cases of fines to farmers for heavy use of antibiotics

Less than 1 percent of farmers have in the course of a year been fined, compared with the estimated level of 5-10 percent of farmers to be fined, when  the Danish Parliament in the autumn 2010 decided to minimize the use of antibiotics to pigs by introducing a yellow scheme with fines to farmers for heavy use of antibiotics. 

See the discussion in the Danish parliament on the decision of yellow scheme. All together since the introduction of yellow scheme there have been 130 cases of fines giving to farmers according to documents which Investigative Reporting Denmark has obtained, with names of all the farmers getting a fine. Excel-file with all data on 130 cases of yellow scheme

Original documents showing fines to farmers:

Yellow scheme in 2011

Yellow scheme in 2012

Yellow scheme in 2013

Yellow scheme in 2014
According to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration only 0.3 to 0.8 pct of the farms received a yellow scheme in the years from 2011-2014, during which the system has been in effect. The documents also show only 2 farmers instead of an estimated 200 received an increased fine and surveillance and no one received a red scheme or had their number of pigs reduced. Authorities claim that this result is because of the success of the system. Continue Reading →

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MRSA-testresult kept secret for more than one month

If one pig gets sick, the whole flock gets medicine.

Access to documents from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration shows the authorities are hiding activities in the MRSA-case. It also shows that officials let farmers refuse to participate in test.  









The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration claims that it has not shared test-result with the farmers’ association, Landbrug & Fødevarer. //

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Documents from the case shows a different story:


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The authority claims the test results have not been validated. In the documents it is made clear that a farm is regarded MRSA-positive if one out of five samples is positive. Continue Reading →

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Jan Guillou: Uncover the real lives of muslims and minorities


We live in a period where democracy might not survive. The main task for journalists is to investigate how minorities live and think. And then tell it. Jan Guillou, born 1944, has a background as a famous investigative reporter in Sweden exposing the intelligence service in 1973 and spending one year in prison for that story. Today, he’s a famous writer, known for his 13 novels on the spy, Carl Hamilton, starting in 1986, four novels on the High Middle Ages and now for making a family chronicle to describe developments in the 20th century. Continue Reading →

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Pig-farmers use of antibiotics continued to grow in 2014


Despite the threat from the dangerous pig-bacteria MRSA CC398, the Danish pig-farmers use more and more antibiotics in their daily production. This is the result of our analysis on totally new data concerning medicine use. We publish the detailed list of pig-farmers use of antibiotics during the last six years. Antibiotics are commonly used in commercial swine production for disease treatment, disease prevention and control, and growth promotion. (Photo from Wikipedia)


In 2010 the use was at the highest level. Continue Reading →

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Infected with MRSA: I feel like a leper

Direct contact with infected animals has the highest risk of transmitting the MRSA-infection to humans.

Kenneth Sørensen talks about what it’s like to be infected with the dangerous pig bacteria MRSA – and to be resistant to various kinds of antibiotics. “They cannot operate someone like you at Frederikshavn Hospital.” This is what a nurse told  33-year-old Kenneth Sørensen when he a few months ago had a hernia. Kenneth Sørensen. (Photo: Michael Bo Rasmussen)

– The message from the nurse was disheartening. And frustrating. I wanted to cry. Continue Reading →

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Ministry of Agriculture: OK to farmers’ desire to keep infected pig farms secret- FOI-organisation complains now

After delivery to the slaughterhouse the stable is flushed with high-pressure.

The Danish Ministry of Agriculture now accepts that a writ of summons from the farmers association will once again delay publication of information about the pig farms that house the dangerous MRSA bacteria. The FOI-organisation Aabenhedstinget therefore asks the Ombudsman once again to intervene in this case and overrule the new exposure. “There are no new arguments from the farmers. They have just screwed the boot in and sent a summons. It seems to have an impact on the Ministry, which has deferred their decision. Continue Reading →

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Jutland has a problem: Dangerous pig-bacteria on humans concentrated in municipalities with many pigs


There is a very clear connection between the number of pigs in a municipality and the number of infected humans with the dangerous pig bacteria, MRSA398. Danish farmers reject the specific risk for humans getting MRSA from pigs. PHOTO: Bæredygtigt Landbrug
The number of infected people with the dangerous pig bacteria is 13 times higher if you are living in a municipality with more than 400,000 pigs, than for people who live in a municipality with few pigs. This conclusion is drawn by Ingeniøren magazine after calculations of the number of pig bacteria in Danish municipalities, which the authorities have revealed to Investigative Reporting Denmark on the basis of a freedom of information request. See the story in Ingeniøren: “Svinefarme i nabolaget mangedobler risiko for smitte med svine MRSA”

Black: More than 30 cases
Red: 20-30 cases
Light Red: 10-19 cases
Grey: Below 10 cases
Humans infected with pig-MRSA in 2012 and 2013 in Danish municipalities. Continue Reading →

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