Rural Development: Antibiotics in Factory Farming

The Facts

So, what’s the latest news?

The issue of antibiotics use in animal production in the United States hit national news (once again) in September 2012, when over 150 scientists and 50 farmers wrote a letter to to the Federal Drug Administration and to the United States Congress, overwhelmingly agreeing that the use of antibiotics in livestock production poses a risk to human health. The bottom line, as the letter states, is that:

Hundreds of scientific research studies and analyses by international scientific bodies support the conclusion that the overuse of critical human drugs in food animal production is linked to human diseases increasingly impervious to antibiotic treatment, putting human lives at unnecessary risk.


How does this happen?

In that same month, The Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair policy in safe food and water provision, released a report entitled “Antibiotics Resistance 101” that uncovers the reality of the use of antibiotics in factory farming and its negative impacts on the economy, the environment, and the health of humans, animals, and plants alike. The infographic below explains the relationship of antibiotics to factory farming:

Text from the Infographic:

  1. Factory farms use feed that’s pre-mixed with antibiotics to promote faster animal growth and prevent infections.
  2. Giving low doses of antibiotics to groups of animals over extended time periods fu;s the development of antibiotic-resistant (AR) bacteria.
  3. Waste is stored in lagoons and used as fertilizer. AR bacteria in the waste continue to reproduce and share genes with other bacteria in soil, streams, ponds and groundwater, creating “reservoirs of resistance”.
  4. AR bacteria in livestock can spread to farmers, farmworkers, meat plant workers, and the general population.
  5. Consumers encounter AR bacteria while handling raw meat and eating undercooked meat.
  6. AR bacterial infections have become increasingly common. Doctors are concerned that some antibiotics no longer work to treat sick people.

Who created this problem?

The Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC (a regular defendant of nature and opponent to the Federal Drug Administration, aka the FDA) has produced a useful infographic on the political history of the mass use of antibiotics in the factory farming industry (click to zoom):

This infographic reviews some of the major political and scientific decisions and discoveries within the antibiotic debate — tracing the developments of “FDA Inaction” on the left and “The Science and Other Developments” alongside it. This infographic paints a straightforward story about the history of antibiotic usage in factory farming with an inescapable bottom line:

The FDA’s inaction on critical issues of antibiotic control and regulation is the key reason why antibiotics usage in factory farming exists today.

What do we do?

Despite the ongoing battle for antibiotics regulation, there are practical things we can do to stop drug resistant disease from plaguing our animals, our food, and our bodies. Below is a set of recommendations I’ve included for the average consumer to take a role:

  1. Educate Yourself. Recognize the moral, medical, and economic imperative for comprehensive antibiotic reform (we could save billions of dollars in antibiotic production and healthcare costs)
  2. Prepare Foods at Home. Protect your family and your health by cooking your own food at home, buying from organic and bio stores as much as possible.
  3. Certify Your Purchases. Aim to purchase meats and dairy products certified by “USDA Certified Organic”, “American Grassfed Certified”, Animal Welfare Approved”, and “Certified Humane”
  4. Change the Policy. Urge your representative to support the “Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act” (PAMTA).

Suscribirse a comentarios Respuestas cerradas. |

Comentarios cerrados.

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de cookies, pinche el enlace para mayor información.plugin cookies

Aviso de cookies