03 Mar 0
Are you aware of antibiotic resistance? Do you know what it is?
Did you know?
80% of all antibiotic use in the United States are given to poultry and other livestock
- 29.9 Million pounds are used to give to livestock
- 7.7 million pounds are used to treat sick people
The Poultry Case Study
Americans today eat three times as much poultry as they did in 1960. Since most U.S. chickens are raised in large, crowded facilities, farmers feed them antibiotics to prevent disease as well as speed their growth. Antibiotics used as growth promoters make the chickens grow bigger faster, making the meat cheaper for the consumer.
- In 1960 it took 63 days to grow a 3.4 pound broiler at $3.24 a pound*
- In 2011 it took 47 days to grow a 5.4 pound broiler at $1.29 a pound
*2011 dollars, adjusted for inflation
How resistance Develops and Spreads
1. Antibiotics can be given to livestock in their feed or sprayed on them, to be ingested when the animals groom themselves.
3. The bacteria causing an infection are usually not resistant to drugs. But some of them can be naturally drug resistant. When antibiotics kill the nonresistant bacteria- the resistant one-the superbugs-can flourish. 53% of grocery store chicken sampled in a 2013 study had E. coli.
4. Superbugs can be passed to humans in many ways. Farmworkers often have direct contact with animals. Drug-resistant bacteria can linger on improperly cooked meat. Fertilizer or water containing animal feces can spread superbugs to food crops.
The really scary thing is that only 7% of some 400 antibiotic drugs given to livestock have been reviewed by the FDA.
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