High levels of antibiotics in Thai factory farmed poultry mean that pharmacies can offer a new way for you to take your medicine. People who do not like to take capsules can buy chicken infused with doxycycline instead.
The anti-biotic content in Thai chicken meat is a happy accident of Thailand's factory farming corporations. These cram 10,000 chickens into one shed. Because the birds are forced to breathe ammonia and particulate matter from feces and feathers all day long, many suffer from serious health problems, including chronic respiratory illnesses and bacterial infections. The sheds are the worlds biggest petri dishes for the production of bacterial and viral diseases. The chickens are only allowed to live for six weeks before slaughter, but they would not live more than a few days without massive doses of anti-biotics.
The spokesman for the Thai Drug Pushers Association said “this opens up great opportunities. A whole range of drugs are used on animals; sedatives and steroids to name just a few. In addition to anti-biotic chicken we expect that pharmacies will soon have anti-depressant frozen pork and body-builders frozen beef burgers.”
The spokesman also said that “there could be really big problems for Thai supermarkets soon. Under Thai law only a qualified Pharmacist can sell anti-biotics. Supermarket sales staff are not qualified to sell chicken laced with anti-biotics, so they are breaking the law. This needs to stop”, he continued, “we need to change the system so that only pharmacies will be allowed to sell meat products.”
The story from Thai PBS (18 Nov)
The Foundation for Consumers (FFC) says it has detected antibiotic residues in chicken sandwiches during its food inspection at Siam Square shopping centre.
FFC said officials tested 18 food items it collected from seven food shops at Siam Square during the food inspection.
It found that the chicken sandwiches obtained from Subway shop was contaminated with Doxycycline antibiotics at 13.73 micrograms per kilo.
However the contaminated residue was not above the Public Health Ministry’s official standard at 200 micrograms.
The food inspection this time was aimed at four types of antibiotics.
FCC chairperson associate professor Chanpen Wiwat said there are still several types of antibiotics used in animal agriculture which are not yet inspected.
She then called on relevant government agencies to standardly conduct persistent inspection of food contamination, and to seek cooperation from fast food operators to refrain from buying from suppliers of contaminated meat to prevent antibiotic resistance in humans.
Statistics released by the Thai Drug Watch said an estimated 80,000 Thais have suffered from antibiotic resistant infections a year.
Of these patients, 20,000-38,000 have died each year, resulting in economical damages of up to 46 billion baht a year.