Recent Stories

Here are some of the MRSA pigs that can threaten your health

Around 1500-2000 Danish pigfarms is now infected with MRSA, is the estimation. This is a heavy growth over the last two years despite the effort to stop the transmission of MRSA.

Denmark is witnessing an explosion of the MRSA epidemic on its pig farms. People are in need of the facts on the risk of infection; which pig farms should one stay away from? We can now get the first answer. The Ministry of Agriculture has for more than two years refused to share its knowledge of the infected pig farms with the Danes. Despite orders from the Danish Ombudsman, the Ministry has still not published its lists of MRSA-infected farms.

However, through a department in the Ministry, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, DVFA (Fødevarestyrelsen in Danish), we have finally managed to obtain a list of 137 pig farms that most probably contain pig-MRSA bacteria. Authorities in Denmark and other countries have for several years pointed at the dangerous connection between the use of antibiotics in livestock production and the development of resistent bacteria. 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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Danish Ombudsman: Names of infected pigfarms must be public

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

More than two years ago Kjeld Hansen and Nils Mulvad from Aabenhedstinget asked for a list of farms infected with the dangerous pig-bacteria, MRSA398. In a final decision yesterday, the Ombudsman declared, that the authorities have no legal argument for keeping this information secret and it therefore shall be given to the journalists. Aabenhedstinget asked the authorities to deliver the full list in less than ten days, immediately after the decision from the danish Ombudsman was made. Journalist Kjeld Hansen did that on behalf of Aabenhedstinget. In his application to the authorities Kjeld Hansen stressed the delay during several years of getting full information, that the former refusal had let to. Continue Reading →

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Danish journalists sentenced to fine for releasing names of infected farms – they will try to appeal the case


Two journalists, Kjeld Hansen and Nils Mulvad, released a story in October 2010 about the spread of pig-to-human infection, which subsequently led to four deaths. Lawyer Tyge Trier (left) with the two journalists Nils Mulvad (middle) and Kjeld Hansen (right) in the district court of Aarhus 6 of May. The verdict came 22 of May 2014. Photo: Lone Hougaard. The story from 2010 violated the Data Protection Act, according to the district court in Aarhus. Continue Reading →

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Danish pig farmers and health authorities don’t warn employees and visitors on dangerous bacteria – clear rules needed

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

Danish authorities don’t check which pig farms are infected. Most pig farmers and people working on pig farms are not tested to check if they carry the dangerous bacteria. Visitors don’t know if a farm is infected.  
According to rules established by the Danish labor inspection, pig farmers must inform their employees if MRSA is demonstrated in their pig herds. Nobody knows to what extent this actually takes place, and there are no demands to inform previous employees if MRSA is demonstrated later on, says Hans Jørn Kolmos, professor of microbiology and chief physician at Odense University Hospital. Continue Reading →

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Three deaths of hospital bacteria spread by pigs

MRSA398 is not loger primarily spread by pigs. It has gone out in the society, tells professor Hans Jørgen Kolmos.

Three people have died in Denmark due to infection from drug-resistant bacteria from pigs. None of the deceased themselves had been in contact with the animals. Data on the three deaths emerged in testimony given in the City Court of Aarhus, Denmark, on Tuesday. Hans Jørn Kolmos, professor of microbiology and chief physician at Odense University Hospital, testified about a death last December at his own hospital. “I have since learned of two other deaths, which authorities have not published,” Kolmos said in court. Continue Reading →

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Results from Danish Roundup trials of genetically modified corn from Monsanto kept secret – expert criticizes

Danish Ministry of Agriculture

The Danish Ombudsman supports Monsantos wish for hiding failed cultivation test with Roundup on genetically modified corn. This decision is criticized by Oluf Jørgensen, Danish expert in Freedom of Information. The former minister of agriculture Eva Kjer Hansen (V) together with Gerhard Deneken, leader of the state trial farm in Tystofte showing the test fields for GMO corn in 2009. Foto: Danish Ministry of Agriculture. The Danish Ombudsman, Jørgen Steen Sørensen, declares his support for the confidentiality of test results for experimental cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. Continue Reading →

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Danish pigs spread hospital bacteria

Washing hands on his way in and later out of the stable is an important method for protecting against MRSA, tells Erik Larsen.

Nine out of ten pigs in Danish slaughterhouses are infected with bacteria that cannot be knocked down with penicillin. Erik Larsen fights the bacteria by changing boots, washing his hands and using high-pressure flushing. DYREHAVEGÅRD, Overby: In each of Erik Larsen’s five pig stables, overalls hang in a certain colour – one for each stable. They are boil washed in the stable. They must not be mixed. Continue Reading →

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Possible punishment for revealing the names of pig farms


Two Danish journalists wrote about abscesses in children – accused of having named 12 infected farms.

Children with abscesses at the size of tennis balls in a Kindergarden in Løgstør, Denmark. Flickr. On 21 October 2010, journalists Nils Mulvad and Kjeld Hansen published an article on the website, a forum for debate on public law and journalism. They wrote of a silenced case about the difficulties in treating abscesses and ulcers in two children in the city of Løgstør in Jutland. The children were carrying resistant bacteria (MRSA). Continue Reading →

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