Can You Imagine a World Without Antibiotics?

The FDA banks on the livestock industry to police their use of antimicrobial drugs in animal feed.

| February 9, 2012

  • livestock feed
    Do we trust the livestock industry to chaperone themselves when it comes to adding antibiotics to animal feed?

  • livestock feed

On January 4, 2012, the New York Times published an article applauding the FDA for regulating antibiotic use on livestock in an attempt to curb the increasing bacterial resistance to common antimicrobial drugs used to treat a host of human illnesses including pneumonia, strep, bronchial and urinary tract infections. This left us scratching our heads, as just the week before, the Guardian in the UK published an article reporting that during the holiday season, while no one was paying attention, the FDA quietly scaled back its regulations on antibiotics in animal feed.

So which is it? Well, if you know anything about the FDA, you would probably guess that the Guardian article was correct, and, you'd be right. The FDA's decision was to continue to regulate one class of antibiotics called cephalosporins (which constitute a mere .3 percent of antibiotics used in animal feed), but to scale back its controlled use of all other drugs in hopes that industry would do the right thing and chaperone itself.

Sound familiar? How often, in recent years, have government agencies such as the FDA, USDA, and EPA deferred to corporations to police themselves? (See OCA alert: Stop USDA's Plans for Monsanto to Police Itself! as just one example.)

Tell the FDA to do their job and regulate the reckless and irresponsible use of antibiotics on factory farms. Otherwise we might find ourselves in a time warp back to the 1920s, when simple things like cuts and minor infections could be deadly.

4/11/2012 4:05:43 PM

ok what about the Doctors who give out a anitbiotics for a virus ! , come on people use your head and stop blameing just the farmer get on the Ddoctors who give it out like candy I'v see it and know it's been done,

Susan Frise
3/28/2012 10:39:50 PM

The only dairy is dairy from cows that eat only grass; farmers are now supplementing dairy cow's diet with ground corn into which vitamins (and who knows what else) are added. Buy Irish cheese & butter--it comes only from grass-fed dairy cows!

Jackie Southern
3/23/2012 7:34:29 PM

I hope you are talking about percentage for the amount of cows being slaughtered. If your not that doesn't make sence because there are WAY more people now than there was in the early 1900. Also your comment should tell you something, that it is not natural for the animals to grow that big that quick. Hence the loss of nutrition. Back then prob 95 percent of families had their own garden and livestock so yes one animal was being kill per family in how ever many days, but the food was being eaten unlike now we have big slatted houses killing animals and if the meat starts looking green no one wants it so it goes in the trash. The good scientific reason would be what does it matter what age you live till if you are not healthy. Also it's those big drug companies that are trying to kill us by making more diseases and holding back cures because they won't make as much money. Think about it.

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