Health

 

Obama's FDA Quietly banning antibiotics in livestock production

07/08/10

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Obama's FDA has begun to ban giving prophylactic antibiotics in livestock production.

Giving animals antibiotics in order to increase food production is a threat to public health and should be stopped, the FDA said

The federal agency says it has the power to ban the practice, but it's starting by issuing "draft guidance" in hopes the food industry will make voluntary changes. After a 60-day public comment period, the guidance will become FDA policy.

 

This is important as giving prophylactic antibiotics to animals in factory farms has contributed to a huge and dangerous public health problem

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

We don't add antibiotics to baby food and Cocoa Puffs so that children get fewer ear infections. That's because we understand that the overuse of antibiotics is already creating "superbugs" resistant to medication.

Yet we continue to allow agribusiness companies to add antibiotics to animal feed so that piglets stay healthy and don't get ear infections. Seventy percent of all antibiotics in the United States go to healthy livestock, according to a careful study by the Union of Concerned Scientists -- and that's one reason we're seeing the rise of pathogens that defy antibiotics.

Yes, you're reading that correctly; seventy percent of all antibiotics in the US go to healthy livestock..that is stunning.

"We don't give antibiotics to healthy humans," said Robert Martin, who led a Pew Commission on industrial farming that examined antibiotic use. "So why give them to healthy animals just so we can keep them in crowded and unsanitary conditions?"

Of course, this is just the beginning to a safer food supply, but it is a huge step. Factory Farms will not take regulation quietly as Agri-business has been getting it's way in congress for too long. Factory Farms have played a huge role in destroying our environment including being one of the greatest emittors of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change

This is the kind of change we need. This won't be pretty and Big Agri will be fighting all the way, but I think this is the beginning of the end of Factory Farms as the incarnate of some of the most abusive practices to public health and our environment.

The best action one can take is to avoid factory farmed raised livestock or meat entirely. But you can also make your voice heard by commenting on the proposed banning of antibiotics in healthy animals
HERE

UPDATE Here is USDA./HHS response to House and Senate re:Antibiotic Resistance in Livestock



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Always well after Europe they go. It doesn't matter if it's banning lead paint or this sort of horrific use (externalize the costs/damage) of antibiotics.

Well - better late than never.

Let's hope that it sticks instead of being watered down or simply not enforced (financial regulations anyone?). Maybe they could hire some pharma sales reps to "police" the farmers. Funny - I thought I was being cynical - but when I think about it - no, the revolving door has been in place for a long time. The polluters get to regulate themselves and decide what to declare - why not drug enforcement like this?

Does the FDA have anyone that will test the factory farmed crap laced "meat" to see if there are antibiotics? Regulation means closing the loops - there have to be spot checks and enforcement needs teeth.

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