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ARS: Drug-resistant bacteria: to humans from farms via food


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Drug-resistant bacteria: to humans from farms via food

You have to love a scientific commentary that starts this in-your-face:

Show us the science that use of antibiotics in animal production is causing this antibiotic resistance,” Dave Warner of the National Pork Council told the Washington Post back in June 2010, responding to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance document advising against the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock.

Well, here’s some.

To be clear: That’s the paper’s language, not mine. The gut-punch challenge comes from an editorial that is only on the Web so far but is scheduled for publication in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection. It accompanies a research article that makes an important claim:

Chickens, chicken meat and humans in the Netherlands are carrying identical, highly drug-resistant E. coli—resistance that is apparently moving from poultry raised with antibiotics, to humans, via food.

For anyone who thinks about these issues—anyone interested in sustainability, organics or small-scale farming, anyone working to combat foodborne disease—this may seem like a foregone conclusion. And it should. The first observation that giving antibiotics to animals spreads antibiotic-resistant bacteria to humans was made in 1976, and there has been a steady accumulation of evidence since. Nevertheless, the argument keeps being made that the connection is not water-tight, and that antibiotic use outside agriculture—in human medicine, perhaps—can be blamed for the vast rise in antibiotic resistance.

For those who don’t want to believe in this connection—and it is, at this point, a matter of belief much more than it is of evidence—this new paper may not convince them. To me, though, it’s more good evidence that overuse of antibiotics in farming is a human-health threat.

Click on the link for the full article

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Is there any evidence that giving any live stock sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics does any good?

(It is funny how we will do this for live stock, but not people. I have a daughter that was getting a lot of ear infections. It was late Feb. so we were almost out of cold season and figured between growing up in terms of the development of the ear canal and a better immune system, if we could get her to the end of cold season, she'd likely be okay. I asked about essentially giving us a standing prescription of antibiotics for two months so essentially if she got a cold, we could start her on antibiotics. He told me no way citing issues with antibiotic resistance and her the effects it has on intestinal flora.

We ended up getting the ear tubes. They lasted through the summer and into the early fall, but she didn't get any major colds during that time, and then fell out. The following winter, she got colds, but no ear infections.)

Just another case of industry ignoring good basic science and a little logic. Not really shocking, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were doing it was costing them money when considering the positive affects of giving the live stock the antibiotics.

You can't PROVE EXACTLY what we are doing is causing an issue, and all of the surrounding evidence supporting that what we are doing isn't enough "proof" for us to stop.

We can ignore:

1. That treating bacteria with low doses of antibiotics in lab settings results in the evolution of resistance.

2. Livestock as a population that are treated with low doses of antibiotics have antibiotic resistant bacteria in them.

3. Bacteria do end up in chicken fecal matter and other places associated with chickens.

4. People do come in contact with such things and are susceptible to infections by those same type of bacteria.

because that isn't good enough evidence that people will get antibiotic resistant bacteria from animals that are treated with low doses of antibiotics for industry.

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First WOW, I just can't understand the government allowing industry the ability to treat animals/food with all the harmful chemicals that are well known.

Second, though too late in the ^ above case, any child suffering ear infections should try chiropractic treatment before antibiotics or other procedures. It worked on both my boys, the oldest was on meds all the time and they wanted to do the procedure before I heard about getting adjustments. It worked within a week and when son number two came along and got the same ear infections, I went to the chiropractor first, and success yet again.

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