by Marion Nestle
Dec 27 2013

More on “profligate” use of antibiotics to promote growth in farm animals

The New England Journal of Medicine has an editorial on why we need to stop using antibiotics to promote the growth of farm animals and make sure they are only used for therapeutic purposes.

Otherwise, bacteria will become resistant to them and the antibiotics won’t work in us.

This figure from the article illustrates the problem:

As writers in the Journal wrote a year ago, we know what to do about the problem: Ban antibiotic use for everything other than disease treatment.

The FDA is taking baby steps in this direction.  How about a new year’s resolution to speed up the process?

Comments

[…] Food Politics » More on “profligate” use of antibiotics to promote growth in farm animals. […]

  • Yamanote
  • December 28, 2013
  • 7:18 pm

I just read The Omnivore’s Dilemma…..this is very frightening and agree its a practise that must stop. Along with animals clustered in their own manure at CAFOs and other “Jungle” like practises.

  • Steve
  • December 30, 2013
  • 11:29 am

Please be fair in your analysis. Antibiotics are administered according to weight. Comparing the dose given to swine or especially cattle, whose weights start at about 85 pounds at birth and can go up to a ton or more for a mature bull, the average bovine dose could be 10 – 20 times higher than a human dose. If you are just measuring in total weight of antibiotics used, of course the total would be higher.

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