Action Alert: Tell the FDA To Stop Antibiotics In Animal Feed

February 29, 2012 · 10 comments

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Did you know that 80% of the antibiotics made are used in livestock feed? Conventional feedlot animals are given antibiotics every day of their lives, primarily to enhance growth. This encourages the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This misguided practice has created a global threat to human health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking comments on the use of antibiotics in livestock. Will you please comment today?

We need bacteria

I have written a lot about bacteria and the benefits of a healthy balance of bacteria, yeast and viruses in the human gut. Without bacteria we could not digest food, make vitamins, have immune support and benefit from the multitude of other functions that they serve.

Well, the same goes for livestock. All mammals have a natural coexistence with bacteria. It is when this balance of nature is upset that trouble occurs and that trouble crosses over to humans.

Super bugs that affect humans are bred in factory farms

Under the current system of factory farming, livestock are crowded together in terrible living conditions and are essentially prisoners of modern commerce. It is so inhumane.

We have known that bacteria are bred into super bugs through the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Feeding livestock antibiotics is practiced by the food industry in order to promote growth and increase revenue.

Back in 1976, Professor Stuart Levy published his research in the NEJM about this problem. He found that the humans who were in contact with chickens that had been fed antibiotics, had resistant bacteria in their stool samples.

FDA under fire

In May of this year, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists joined together and filed a lawsuit against the FDA. These groups are petitioning the agency to withdraw its approval for most non-therapeutic uses of penicillin and tetracycline in animal feed.

According to Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists,

We’ve been fighting the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock for more than 30 years… And over those decades the problem has steadily worsened. We hope this lawsuit will finally compel the FDA to act with an urgency commensurate with the magnitude of the problem.

The problem is that bacteria have an amazing capacity to mutate in order to survive. So even very small amounts of a substance will trigger mutation and resistance to the drug.

Support your local farms

The best solution is to support local farmers who are engaging in biodynamic polyculture farms that would never use drugs like antibiotics,  because their animals are living the life they are supposed to live and eating the things they are supposed to eat. These humane and ethical local farms that can provide safe, clean, real food are our hope for the future.

Send your message to the Commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration, Margaret Hamburg

Read more about the Food Safety Consequences of Factory Farms at Food & Water Watch.

Photo Credit

This post is linked to: Creative Juice Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Freaky Friday, Fight back Friday, Living Well Blog Hop, Sunday School, Seasonal Celebration, Sugar-Free Sunday, Barnyard hop, Monday Mania, Ruth’s Real Food, Tasty Tuesday Tidbits, Hearth & Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesday Naptime, Traditional Tuesday, Sustainable Ways, Whole Food Wednesday,Mommy Club, Healthy 2Day, Real Food Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elaine Corcoran March 1, 2012 at 7:21 am

I LOVE my gut bacteria!!!! Stop trying to kill it in animals who have no say!!! These unnecessary actions are killing/ destroying humanity

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2 Jasmine Greenough March 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Healthy, balanced gut bacteria is essential to live healthy, balanced lives. Please do the right thing and stop putting anti-biotics in animal feed. When I got salmonella poisoning this summer the nurse told me if I chose to take anti-biotics to get myself on the road to recovery (I couldn’t keep any food down and was losing weight rapidly), there was a good chance they wouldn’t work because of all the anti-biotics the chickens received in their feed. I opted out of going to the doctors (it would have been the first time in SEVERAL years) and decided to take colloidal silver and plant enzymes instead. Even the medical industry knows this is bad practice. Children with autism have been found to have different bacteria in their guts then people without autism. Science is there to prove this is not good for any of us. including you! Please make the right decision as we try to make this world a better place for all. Thank You

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3 Dawn @ Small Footprint Family March 1, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Thanks for writing about this. A lot of people don’t know that MRSA came from the livestock industry, or that antibiotic use in livestock is creating such health problems for us. I hope CSPI, etc. win against the FDA!

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4 Jen March 2, 2012 at 8:38 am

In order to stop this practice CAFOs will have to go away. From what I hear, these farms can not keep their animals from getting really sick without the antibiotics. I know that people complain about how expensive pastured meat is, but if they really knew the consequences to their health and gut they would certainly find a way to stop eating it! Thanks for sharing this important info Jill!

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5 Kim Daly March 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

Thanks for sharing this important matter. Jill. I posted to my site as well: http://soulicious.net/2012/03/04/action-alert-tell-the-fda-to-stop-antibiotics-in-animal-feed/

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6 Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network March 10, 2012 at 6:06 am

Thanks Jill for highlighting this, it’s important we’re informed. Our family eats once a week and we only buy organic when it comes to meat- hence it’s rather a luxury. I just don’t want to be helping to finance these farms by buying their cheap meat.

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