November 2007: The Soil Association is calling on Defra to take the threat from a new type of antibiotic-resistant E.coli on British farms as seriously as it takes Foot and Mouth and Bluetongue.

It says levels of infection in humans from ESBL E.coli have risen dramatically in the UK over the last few years. “The problem is believed to have arisen due to the high use of certain antibiotics in intensive farming,” it said.Defra says it is not aware of any evidence linking the use of antibiotics in animals in the UK to the development of ESBL resistance. “The available evidence suggests that ESBLs have mainly emerged elsewhere in the world.”

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