A sad commentary on greed vs. human health. The proliferation of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria now circulating through the human population can be traced in part to the rampant use of antibiotics in feed lots. The bacteria common in feed lot environments become immune to antibiotics used in animal feed to make amimals gain more weight. These superbugs them make their way into the human environment and the diseases they cause do not respond to antibiotics any more. This is tragic.
Here is an excerpt:
The United States uses nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics annually in food production. Livestock antibiotic use accounts for 80 percent of the total antibiotics sold in the US, and unnecessary use of antibiotics in food animals (cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys) is a major driving force behind the rampant development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Compare this to the 6 million pounds of antibiotics that are used for every man, woman and child in the US combined. But unlike human use, in which antibiotics are prescribed to treat serious infection, in animals, drugs such as penicillins and tetracyclines are routinely added to animal feed as a cheap way to make the animals grow faster.
The primary reason why concentrated animal feedlot operations (CAFOs) are such hotbeds for breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria is because of the continuous feeding of low doses of antibiotics to the animals, which allows pathogens to survive, adapt, and eventually, thrive.
In short, American food producers are trading slightly reduced production costs (i.e. more meat per animal) for more lethal illnesses — both in animals and humans. Just one of several now resistant pathogens, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), is responsible for more than 94,000 infections and 18,000 deaths in the US each year!”
For the full article go here.