Keeping Antibiotics Out of Our Food

Keeping Antibiotics Out of Our Food

Aug 24

In most factory farms, animals are fed antibiotics almost daily in their food rations. Why? Not because they are sick, as you would expect. The close confinement and poor living conditions make them dramatically more susceptible to illness. Because the operators of these farms can’t keep track of the health of every animal, they simply add doses of antibiotics “just in case” some are sick.

Why should you care? Aside from the fact that the drugs can linger in the meat of the animals all the way to your dining table, constant exposure to antibiotics encourages bacteria and viruses to mutate, creating new strains that are immune to the drugs. Believe it or not, these are the same antibiotics that would be used to treat you if you were sick, which means that if you happen to catch one of these mutated strains, there would be no antibiotic to effectively treat it.

Right now is your chance to change that, though. The FDA is seeking public comments on proposed rules that would limit the use of antibiotics in animals. Currently, though, the wording is vague and the restrictions would have virtually no effect on large operations. Send your comments to the FDA before August 30, 2010, to praise them for proposing limitations at all and encourage them to make them stricter.

Read the full text of the FDA’s proposed guidelines here.

Find detailed information on how to leave comments here.

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1 comment

  1. Sara

    Again your research comes through thanks for giving me a way to act. The deadline is close, I will spread the word.

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