Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info

Cows are pumped up on drugs

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: cows, drugs, health news

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
(NaturalNews) Writing in the New York Times, former FDA Commissioner Donald Kennedy warns that the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock is a major threat to human health.

"More than 30 years ago ... we proposed eliminating the use of penicillin and two other antibiotics to promote growth in animals raised for food," Kennedy writes. "When agribusiness interests persuaded Congress not to approve that regulation, we saw firsthand how strong politics can trump wise policy and good science.

Already in the 1980s, Kennedy notes, scientists knew that the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics to prevent infection in healthy animals and make them grow faster was leading to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria. To make matters worse, the antibiotics used in animals are largely the same as those used in humans, meaning that when these livestock-produced superbugs infect humans, doctors have few ways to deal with them.

An estimated 90,000 people die from hospital-acquired infections in the United States every year. Seventy percent of these infections are antibiotic resistant.

The livestock industry insists that it needs to use antibiotics to keep its animals healthy. But according to the Union for Concerned Scientists, 70 percent of the antibiotics used in agriculture are given to healthy animals that are only at risk of infection because they are kept in crowded, unsanitary confinement. And after Denmark banned non-therapeutic antibiotic use in the 1990s, the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria in farm animals plummeted, while costs to livestock producers increased only slightly.

In 2005, the United States banned the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in poultry. Now the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act has been introduced, which would ban any non-therapeutic antibiotic use in animals unless drug companies could prove there was no risk of contributing to the development of superbugs.

A ban on non-therapeutic antibiotics in agriculture is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Pharmacists Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Sources for this story include: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/opinion/18....
STAY INFORMED! Free subscription to the Health Ranger's email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.