Antibiotics fed routinely to livestock in their food and water can promote faster growth, but the practice is also used as a way to compensate for the effects of extreme overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in factory farms. This practice is dangerous to humans as it serves as a petri dish which selects for antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Johns Hopkins researcher, Kellogg Schwab, says he’s more than just concerned: “This development of drug resistance scares the hell out of me. If we continue on and we lose the ability to fight these microorganisms, a robust, healthy individual has a chance of dying, where before we would be able to prevent that death.” Schwab says that if he tried, he could not build a better incubator of resistant pathogens than a factory farm.
The American Medical Association has called for a ban on this practice, and the FDA is considering new guidelines, but they are non-binding and not adequate to protect human health. To see a full report from John Hopkins, click here or on the picture below.
The FDA is accepting public comments on their draft guidlines until August 28 (Saturday). Will you join me and tell them it’s time to enact real regulations that protect public health and ensure responsible use of antibiotics in animals? A web based (simple) means of sending them comments is available here. Or write your own!