The FDA Enters Withdrawal: The Future of Antibiotics on Farms – Robert S. Lawrence – Health – The Atlantic

30 Mar

As long as low doses of antibiotics may be continuously fed to food animals to prevent disease, the industrial operations that produce the majority of food animals in this country will continue to serve as giant incubators for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

It is unclear whether the FDA still considers the use of antibiotics to prevent disease safe. The agency has acknowledged that feeding antibiotics to entire herds or flocks, for disease prevention and other purposes, “poses a qualitatively higher risk to public health” than treating individual sick animals. the FDA has nevertheless termed the preventive use of antibiotics “necessary and judicious.”

The use of antibiotics for disease prevention is only necessary because companies have chosen to raise food animals using methods that make them especially susceptible to infectious diseases. If we improved the diets and living conditions of the animals, we could prevent disease without compromising the effectiveness of antibiotics and putting the health of the public at risk.

via The FDA Enters Withdrawal: The Future of Antibiotics on Farms – Robert S. Lawrence – Health – The Atlantic.

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