Tom Philpott’s latest post for Mother Jones addresses a topic that’s high on my list of concerns about most modern meat production, i.e., indiscriminate antibiotic use on factory farms contributes to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As he describes,
Nearly 80 percent of antibiotics consumed in the United States go to livestock farms. Meanwhile, antibiotic-resistant pathogens affecting people are on the rise. Is there a connection here? No need for alarm, insists the National Pork Producers Council. Existing regulations “provide adequate safeguards against antibiotic resistance,” the group insists on its site. It even enlists the Centers for Disease Control in its effort to show that “animal antibiotic use is safe for everyone,” claiming that the CDC has found “no proven link to antibiotic treatment failure in humans due to antibiotic use in animals.”
So move along, nothing to see here, right? Not so fast. On Monday, the CDC came out with a new report called “Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013″….. And far from exonerating the meat industry and its voracious appetite for drugs, the report spotlights it as a driver of resistance.
As usual, the post is informative and chock full of great links. Find it here.