Tag Archives: superbugs

Dutch curb subclinical antibiotics for livestock; now what about the U.S.?

The problem of widespread and indiscriminate use of small doses of antibiotics in animal feed is widely regarded as leading to the development of antibiotic resistant disease strains such as MSRA. Nicholas Kristof has has written about this in the New York Times years ago (here and here). And the problem has been widely discussed in the alternative media as well. What’s new in this story by Jane Black is a report on how the Dutch government is actually doing something to improve the situation. And if they can do it why couldn’t we?

From Jane Black, on Prevention.com

Photograph by Stuart Freedman (via Prevention)

“It’s the stench, a pungent mix of ammonia and wet earth, that gives it away. This neat row of brick buildings in the Dutch village of Bergeijk is a massive chicken farm. Inside the six barns are 175,000 birds, hidden from the neighbors’ view and without any access to the outdoors or even natural light. To see them, visitors must slip into sterile blue jumpsuits and plastic booties, a low-tech but effective type of biosecurity that stops people from sneaking in any dangerous bacteria—or taking anything out. Continue reading

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Would you like Superbugs with that?

From Barry Estabrook, at On Earth:

“Feeding antibiotics to healthy livestock is leading to an emerging human health crisis — one scientists and the government have seen coming for decades

Stuart Levy once kept a flock of chickens on a farm in the rolling countryside west of Boston. No ordinary farmer, Levy is a professor of molecular biology and microbiology and of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. This was decades ago, and his chickens were taking part in a never-before-conducted study. Half the birds received feed laced with a low-dose of antibiotics, which U.S. farmers routinely administer to healthy livestock — not to cure illness, but merely to increase the animals’ rates of growth. The other half of Levy’s flock received drug-free food. Continue reading

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Livestock antibiotics and superbugs

From Tom Laskawy, on Grist.org:

Smoking gun image via Grist.org

“How does the livestock industry talk about antibiotics? Well, it depends on who’s doing the talking, but they all say some version of the same thing. Take the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; they say there is “no conclusive scientific evidence indicating the judicious use of antibiotics in cattle herds leads to antimicrobial resistance in humans [MRSA].”

Or Ron Phillips of the Animal Health Institute (a drug-industry front group). In an interview on Grist last year, he said that before you can draw any conclusions: Continue reading

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