Antibiotic resistance and livestock

Update: The CBS Nightly News two-part segment by Katie Kouric on antibiotic use in our nation’s meat production has been postponed again. It is now scheduled to air next Wednesday and Thursday, February 3rd and 4th.

Tune in this Wednesday and Thursday evenings to Bucks County Slow Food chapter member Steve McDonnell, CEO of Applegate Farms on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Katie is reporting in a two-part series about antibiotic use in industrial farming on January 20-21. Currently 70% of the antibiotics used on large-scale farms are given to healthy animals. Applegate Farms has always maintained a firm no-antibiotic requirement for their meat producers.

Some background from Kimberly Kaufmann, Leader, Slow Food Bucks County:

Antibiotics are often fed to livestock to help them grow faster. However, the antibiotics have created increasing resistance in some animals to antibiotics, and have allowed diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and staph to morph into strains that are more resistant to medicine. This resistance is then passed on to humans as they eat the drug-resistant pork, chicken, and beef around their dinner tables.

Antibiotic resistance is no trivial matter. Many diseases are much more difficult to cure if a person has developed resistance to some standard antibiotics. This year, the World Health Organization stated that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health.

Read more background information on this issue from the Associated Press article, Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture.

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