Related on TestTube:
Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Is on the Rise
The Place Where Thrive the Most
The FDA reports that the sale of antibiotics to the meat industry has risen 20 percent from 2009 to 2013. Why should you be concerned? Since the 1950s, farm animals have been fed antibiotics--for reasons not completely understood--because it makes them bigger. It also makes them more disease resistant, which helps them survive in the cramped, dirty modern factory farm. We recently discussed the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on DNews; the practice of feeding healthy animals antibiotics is the perfect breeding ground for these superbugs, which can travel to humans via the meat directly or through workers handling it.
Two million Americans are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria, and more than 23,000 people die from them each year. These numbers are on the rise. This could be related to the fact that the U.S. feeds their livestock more antibiotics than any other country. The practice of feeding non-prescribed antibiotics to animals is illegal in Canada and a number of European countries. There are no federal regulations requiring the meat industry to disclose how much antibiotics they use, but a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that more than 63,000 tons were used by livestock farmers in 2010, and most expect that number to continue to rise. Some companies, however, are refusing to buy antibiotic-fed meat. McDonald's recently announced it would be phasing out antibiotic-fed chicken, while a number of other chains--like Chipotle and Panera--have been doing so for quite some time.
Antibiotic Use In Meat Is Soaring (via The Huffington Post)
"Soaring demand for meat across the world has caused a major uptick in the amount of antimicrobial drugs in pork, beef and poultry, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
Antibiotics in Livestock: F.D.A. Finds Use Is Rising (via The New York Times)
"The amount of antibiotics sold for use in livestock rose substantially in recent years, according to the Food and Drug Administration, a pattern that experts said was troubling given the efforts to battle antibiotic resistance in humans."
Is Your Meat Safe? (via PBS)
"Ranchers and farmers have been feeding antibiotics to the animals we eat since they discovered decades ago that small doses of antibiotics administered daily would make most animals gain as much as 3 percent more weight than they otherwise would. In an industry where profits are measured in pennies per animal, such weight gain was revolutionary."
U.S. meat industry bought more human antibiotics to 2013: FDA (via Reuters)
"Sales of medically important antibiotics in the United States for use in livestock jumped by 20 percent between 2009 and 2013, federal regulators said on Friday, although recent statements by producers suggest those figures could be dropping."
Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance (via CDC)
"Antibiotics and similar drugs, together called antimicrobial agents, have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases."