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Cows are pumped up on drugs

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer

Natural News: 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. More

Superbugs in Factory-farmed Meats

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From: Whole Food USA: link

An AP article headlined Pressure Rises to Stop Antibiotics in Agriculture made the front page today that will help to educate consumers about the type of factory-farm meat they are eating. With the heavy use of antibiotics, the chickens, pigs and cows develop dangerous organisms in and on their infection-suppressed carcasses and end up on the dinner plate. This has long known been a reason for creation of superbugs and antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria , but it is good to see this information is going more mainstream; and, all the more reason to eat naturally raised beef, chickens, pork and other meats.

The article does not cover the hazards of genetically-engineered feed or cloned animals, but ironically the story is from show-me-state town of Frankenstein, Missouri. Here are some excerpts:

Researchers say the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to a plague of drug-resistant infections that killed more than 65,000 people in the U.S. last year — more than prostate and breast cancer combined. And in a nation that used about 35 million pounds of antibiotics last year, 70 percent of the drugs went to pigs, chickens and cows. Worldwide, it’s 50 percent. Read more

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