Monday, June 27, 2011

The Rise of Superbugs

From an article in The Atlantic last week. Well worth a read:

The Rise of 'Superbugs': Time to End a Decades-Long Problem By Frances Beinecke
We've known since the mid-'70s that feeding animals antibiotics is dangerous—but we haven't changed our ways

All 27 EU nations have already successfully stopped using antibiotics for growth promotion. Denmark, the world's largest pork exporter, ended the practice over a decade ago, and industry data have shown a sustained decrease in overall antibiotic use and the amount of drug-resistant bacteria found in livestock and meat products. At the same time, livestock production has grown and prices have remained stable.

The American National Academy of Sciences estimated in 1999 that if we were to take similar steps in the U.S. to eliminate
all non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock, it would cost grocery shoppers less than $10 annually. That's less than $13.50 per year in today's dollars. 

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