The Soil Association is calling for a ban on the routine use of antibiotics on dairy farms after a study identified a new strain of MRSA in milk from British dairy farms.

The study, led by scientists from Cambridge University, was published today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

It concluded “the discovery of this previously undetected [strain] is potentially of public health importance”.

The organic association claims antibiotics known as cephalosporins are “strongly suspected” of promoting MRSA in humans and farm animals.

However, the Food Standards Agency and Dairy UK have looked to calm fears over the discovery of the virus, claiming the risk to humans is extremely low.

A spokesman for the FSA said: “99.99% of cows’ milk is pasteurised. The pasteurisation process destroys all types of MRSA.”

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