from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been trying to get the meat industry to reduce its use of antibiotics, even proposing a set of voluntary guidelines in 2012, but it hasn't done much with it since. In the meantime, antibiotic (ab)use on livestock farms continues to grow. According to data from the FDA, the livestock industry now uses almost 80% of all the antibiotics used in the U.S. The main concern is that the practice of dosing healthy farm animals daily with antibiotics will create drug-resistant bacteria. About three-quarters of Salmonella found on ground turkey and chicken breast are now resistant to at least one antibiotic, and almost half of the Campylobacter found on chicken products are resistant to tetracyclines. Here are some other examples of antibiotic abuse in the food industry.
- Researchers have found 149 different drug-resistant genes in bacteria on antibiotic-intensive pig farms in China. These antibiotic-resistant genes can spread to the environment and end up in many different kinds of human pathogens. [url]
- Did you know that organic apple and pear orchards are treated with tetracycline to prevent a disease called fire blight? While this may be surprising, tetracycline has actually been allowed for use in organic farming in the U.S. since the mid-'90s (with the understanding that their use would eventually be phased out). Fire blight has already become resistant to streptomycin -- how long will it be before tetracycline stops working, too? [url]
- If you use logic "borrowed from the anti-GMO crowd," you could argue that antibiotic abuse in the meat industry causes autism and diabetes... because both antibiotic use and the number of autistic children and diabetics have been increasing over the years. Right? Right?? [url]