The Abuse of Antibiotics and the Rise of ‘Super Bugs’

January 4, 2013 | By | Reply More

Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The use of antibacterial drugs on healthy livestock is a common practice in the United States. The meat industry’s overuse of antibiotics has become so widespread that about 29 million pounds of these drugs (or 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US) are used in industrial feedlots, with only 14% of these drugs being used for therapeutic purposes. As a result, dangerous germs, dubbed “super bugs”, capable of fighting off antibiotics, are spreading throughout our communities, not only jeopardizing our health, but also the future of healthcare.

Antibiotic Use in Industrial Farms

Giving low-level antibiotics to farm animals started in the 1950s, when raising animals in large confined feedlots began to replace small local farms. The conditions in this new type of farming were ripe for the spread of infectious disease among livestock, as animals were now being confined to overcrowded spaces and given limited access to fresh air, sunlight and exercise. Antibiotics were thus used as preventative medicine. Over the last 50 years, in an effort to prevent infections large meat producers have been regularly putting antibiotics into the feed and water given to farm animals.

Rise in Super Bugs

As a result of this practice, antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, are starting to become a growing concern for public health. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests meats sold in grocery stores, and has reported that about 50% of meats are contaminated by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteria can also be spread by air, water and feedlot workers.  As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to treat a variety of illnesses such as ear infections and strep throat with antibiotics.

Drug-resistant infections are estimated to cost Americans up to $26 billion per year in additional healthcare costs. Those costs go up to as much as $36 billion a year when lost productivity and other factors are taken into account. – (source: Natural Resources Defense Council)

Today, the medical industry’s answer to this problem is to make more new antibiotics, which are often much more expensive and can have greater side effects. And, although all of the major medical groups, such as the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, agree that non-therapeutic use of antibiotics on animals must be stopped, the FDA has not taken much action to make this happen.

If this situation continues as is, scientists note that it is only a matter of time before the rise of an unstoppable ‘super bug’ that could devastate both animal and human populations. And along the way, many of the diseases that we now disregard as non-threatening will come back to wreak havoc, since antibiotics are no longer effectual. A serious crisis in the making, born out of irresponsible and greedy farming practices.

Actionable Options

Sadly, America continues to fall behind when it comes to the quality of the food available to its public. Many European countries have banned using antibiotics on animals to promote faster growth and prevent infectious disease caused by inhumane conditions. So what can be done?

The answer, of course, lies in personal action and decision-making.

If you are not already sickened by the way that animals are raised and treated in industrial feedlots, perhaps this will give some a new reason to consider moving towards a more vegetable rich diet, and away from consuming vast amounts of meat products. And if you can’t seem to let go of the carnivorous you, then consider purchasing meats from producers that only use antibiotics on animals to treat illnesses. These foods are typically labeled USDA Certified Organic, American Grassfed Certified, Animal Welfare Approved, and Certified Humane.

About the Author

Anna Hunt is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in research and editorial writing. She and her husband run a preparedness e-store outlet at www.offgridoutpost.com, offering GMO-free storable food and emergency kits. Anna is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Read more of her excellent articles here.

Sources:

http://www.nrdc.org/food/saving-antibiotics.asp
http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2012/nov/29/chef_tom_colicchio_spotlights_factory_farms/

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Activism, Agriculture, All Original Articles, Animals, Anna Hunt, Business, Community, Contributors, Earth, Environment, Healthcare, Natural Health, Science, Self, Society, Time & Space

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.













Waking Times

While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous “killer robots,” the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown.… More

August 19, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
The Bitcoin Novelty – A Revolutionary Idea

The Bitcoin Novelty – A Revolutionary Idea













Kevin Sterne, Contributor
Waking Times

Even though the crypto currency, Bitcoin, isn’t exactly new, it still hasn’t infiltrated the mainstream ethos. But it’s getting there. You may have heard the term outside the fringe Internet message boards, or dark bar alleyways—that seemingly hacker-fancied geekdom thing that probably sprang from … More

August 19, 2014 | By | Reply More
Happy Ending? Or Happy Now

Happy Ending? Or Happy Now













Zen Gardener, Guest
Waking Times

No matter where I turn the awakening is screaming out at me. Every event and announcement of intention by the dark side, no matter how destructive and disturbing, is only precipitating more conscious awareness and very present, personal involvement by humanity. It’s a thrilling … More

August 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?

Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?













Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

Politics affects everyone, so everyone deserves a voice; especially the youth…

It seems like everywhere I go online, I am met with the diligence of Andrew Demeter. I wrote about his award-winning mini-documentary “We The People, Genetically Modified.” Expertly produced, it encompassed a … More

August 12, 2014 | By | Reply More
How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System

How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Industrial chemical-based agriculture, which produces the vast majority of US food crops, is actually destroying the soil that makes the growing of food possible in the first place.

This is not true in other countries. Worldwide, 70 percent of the food is grown in backyards or … More

August 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

Activism Works

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Seizing Control of Our Destinies

Seizing Control of Our Destinies













Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise … More

July 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project

Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.

Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill … More

July 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site

A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

Shannon Rainey lives in a house that was built on top of a Superfund site in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

“I bought my house when I was 25, and thirty years later, I still can’t get out,” she told DeSmogBlog.

Rainey’s … More

June 23, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy

Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy













Michele Simon, EcoWatch
Waking Times

The East Coast has been getting most of the attention lately on the state by state effort to label genetically-engineered food. Vermont recently passed a bill and New York State’s bill is now moving. But let’s not forget about the western states, which are also … More

June 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More