Monday, August 8, 2011

Why Bacteria Resistance to Antibiotics?

Thank you Lauri David for putting it in terms everyone can understand: antibiotic-resistant bacteria is every mother's nightmare. What is the source?
Perhaps it has something to do with the massive amounts of antibiotics used on factory farms every day. Food Animals use up about 29 million pounds of antibiotics a year, compared to the 7 million used in people. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics on factory farms can lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as Salmonella Heidelberg. You might recall last May when I asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: "When will the government do something to stop producers from squandering 70% of our antibiotics on healthy farm animals?" And he answered with the question, "How do you basically legislate that?"

Well, Mr. Secretary, one thing you can do immediately is to demand that the Department of Agriculture stop turning a blind-eye to Salmonella contamination in our meat supply. When it comes to routine Salmonella testing in ground turkey meat, according to the Consumers Union, current USDA standards allow 49.9 percent of samples in a test run to be positive for Salmonella -- 44.6 percent for ground chicken. Are you kidding me?

PS The European Union banned the feeding of all antibiotics and related drugs to livestock for growth promotion purposes in 2006.
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