Meat Producers Seek to Forestall Antibiotic Ban

November 1, 2010

It looks like things are reaching a tipping point regarding the  possibility of banning the feeding of growth-promoting antibiotics to farmed animals.  The meat industry is trying to postpone the inevitable by following the tobacco industry’s 1960s to 1980s strategy of claiming the science is inconclusive.

Compared to the tobacco and lung cancer connection, it’s much harder to establish conclusive cause-and-effect relationships between farmed animal antibiotics use and the emergence of drug resistant pathogenic bacteria. But Thomas Chiller, a medical director for the CDC, nicely sums up what we do know.

It is hard to do a study, document that Antibody A, used in Cow A, caused Infection Z in Human Z. But we know along the continuum of all those lines that antibiotic-resistant bacteria from animals is getting into the food supply.

Antibiotics are a key ingredient in making cheap factory farmed meat possible, and the current  lax regulations regarding them are therefore a vital asset of animal agribusiness.

This is another example of how farmed animals stand to benefit when vegans and conscientious omnivores form alliances. Vegans ought to be working hand-in-hand with the Pollans and Bittmans of the world to stamp out this indefensible factory farming practice. Vegans will be happy that an antibiotics ban will lead to less meat being produced, while conscientious omnivores will be happy that the meat industry will no longer pose a grave and unnecessary danger to the public health. (Via Edible SF.) Link.

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