The Bureau has won Britain’s top accolade for investigative science journalism at the 2019 Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) Awards.
The Bureau’s health and science team won the Steve Connor Award for Investigative Journalism for their story on the continued use of one of the world’s most precious antibiotics just to make chickens grow faster. The World Health Organisation has called for a ban on the drug – colistin – being used in this way as it fuels the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, which can infect and kill humans and animals.
There are already bans in place in the UK, Europe, USA, China and Brazil. The investigation by Madlen Davies, Ben Stockton and freelancer Rahul Meesaraganda, who is based in India was published with The Times, The Lancet Journal of Infectious Diseases and The Hindu, India’s second-biggest English-language newspaper.
It revealed thousands of tonnes of colistin were still being shipped around the world to be added to livestock feed. Venky’s, India’s largest poultry company, which also owns Blackburn Rovers football team in the UK, was marketing the drug to Indian farmers as a growth promoter.