26 May '11, 4pm

Time for FDA to Act: Antibiotic Use in Healthy Livestock Is Endangering Our Families

Anyone who has ever watched a child suffer from strep throat or a parent fall prey to pneumonia knows the healing power of antibiotics. Not only do these wonder drugs offer relief within hours, but they also provide a critical line of defense against bacteria that could prove disabling or fatal otherwise. And yet over the last several decades, we have been squandering the power of these medicines. Roughly 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to healthy farm animals to foster rapid growth and make up for unhygienic living conditions. As a result, many bacteria that live on animals adapt and become resistant to antibiotics. They transform into superbugs that move from livestock to humans through food, air, and water. Infections caused by these bacteria can be much harder to treat or may become immune to medical treatment. The results can be deadl...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/time_for_fda_...

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