Thursday, 23 April 2015

Overweight? It could be livestock antibiotics.



A very good article from the USA covering an aspect of antibiotic misuse on livestock that is rarely mentioned, and lies in the shadow of the apparently much more serious superbug crisis: the meat also makes you fat.

There is also a good explanation why merely banning antibiotics to increase weight in animals won't work in the USA, any more than it has in Europe.

Just a few quotes to whet your appetite.

Be sure to read the whole here:

Antibiotic Overload: Experts Blame Livestock Use for Human Resistance, Even Obesity


By Stacy Finz


...“I’ve been surprised that this has been allowed to persist,” said panelist Michael Pollan, a UC Berkeley journalism professor and food activist. “It’s a public health threat.”

And that’ s not all. Panelist Dr. Lee Riley, a UC Berkeley professor of infectious diseases who has studied the issue, said he believes that antibiotic use in food animals could be contributing to the country’s obesity epidemic...

...“If it’s a growth promoter in livestock, what do you think it is in humans?” he asked...

... Maryn McKenna, a science journalist at work on a book chronicling the history of antibiotic use in livestock production...

...The livestock industry has said that it’s not opposed to reducing its use of human antibiotics, but wants the option to continue to use antimicrobials as a prophylactic. (It’s common practice for large livestock producers to put antibiotics in feed and water as a preventative measure against disease.) Some producers say their stock would die without it...

...Holland actually saw an increase after its ban because farmers used the prophylactic reason as a loophole, McKenna said. American politicians have repeatedly tried to pass strict legislation both federally and statewide that would ban any kind of use other than to treat a sick animal, but to no avail.

“Big ag and big pharm are powerful industries,” Pollan said...

... “What needs to be changed is animal husbandry.”...

Posted on April 22, 2015 - 11:58am