03 Jun '11, 2am

E-I-E-I-Oh no: Decades of antibiotics in farm animals lead to deadly superbugs

E-I-E-I-Oh no: Decades of antibiotics in farm animals lead to deadly superbugs

It's easy to understand why drug companies react so forcefully to any attempts to cut back on sub-therapeutic antibiotic use -- FDA figures show that 60 percent of the antimicrobial drugs they sell are fed to farm animals to promote growth, an enormous chunk of their business -- but given the success of farmers in Europe who've stopped using antibiotics to promote growth, why is the farm lobby so vehemently against change? Would it spell the end of the huge CAFOs upon which American agribusiness has come to depend? Steven Roach, the public health program director for the Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the FDA, has a straightforward answer to that question: No, CAFOs would not go away. European pig farms are as large as those in the U.S., according to Roach. Some of the E.U.'s chicken operations are even larger than those in ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-05-31-yo...

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