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Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture

December 30, 2009

Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture

When the movie “Food inc.” was released, most of the reviews about it summed it up as something along the lines of “terrifying.” When i was reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” i couldn’t open it up in a public place without someone telling that it would make me lose my appetite or denounce meat eating. I still manage to eat meat and keep my appetite. It is obvious that there is a revolution happening in food, but change will not happen in a day. How we raise the meat that we eat is becoming one of the biggest focal points in our food culture. The following excerpts are from an article from the associated press relating to the problems of the over use of antibiotics on the livestock that we eat, especially in the United States. The article is written in a way that is a bit unnerving. It should be read by everyone in this country, but not feared. The more we know, the more we can change, and hopefully in the next fifty years stories like this will simply be a thing of the past. For now we should live the best way we know how and work to change where we can.

Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture

Farm groups and pharmaceutical companies argue that drugs keep animals healthy and meat costs low, and have defeated a series of proposed limits on their use.

The European Union and other developed countries have adopted strong limits against antibiotics. Russia recently banned pork imports from two U.S. plants after detecting levels of tetracycline that the USDA said met American standards.

Some U.S. lawmakers are fighting for a new law that would ban farmers from feeding antibiotics to their animals unless they are sick. Farmers and drugmakers are battling back. Pharmaceutical companies have spent $135 million lobbying so far this year, and agribusiness companies another $70 million, on a handful of issues including fighting the proposed new limits.

“Now the public doesn’t see that,” he said. “They’re only concerned about resistance, and they don’t care about economics because, ‘As long as I can buy a pork chop for a buck 69 a pound, I really don’t care.’ But we live in a world where you have to consider economics in the decision-making process of what we do.”

In 2008 the FDA issued its second limit on an antibiotic used in cows, pigs and chickens, citing “the importance of cephalosporin drugs for treating disease in humans.” But the Bush Administration — in an FDA note in the federal register — reversed that decision five days before it was going to take effect after receiving several hundred letters from drug companies and farm animal trade groups.

Please read the whole article here: Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture

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