Antibiotic resistance is being fueled by big retailers and fast food chains, here’s why
(NaturalHealth365) No doubt, in some cases, antibiotics can be lifesaving drugs. However, misusing them can have serious consequences – one of the biggest being drug-resistant infections.
Despite the well-known risks of inappropriate antibiotic use, a startling new FDA report suggests that misuse of these drugs is widespread in the livestock industry. In fact, several big-name retailers and restaurants may be contributing to the problem.
New FDA report reveals increased sales of antibiotics for use in livestock
Antibiotic resistance has been a looming health crisis for many years and is caused by unnecessary or incorrect antibiotic use.
Antibiotic resistance is when antibiotics stop working because bacteria have mutated, becoming resistant to the drugs. These bacteria, called “superbugs,” are thus very hard to kill – making it difficult to treat infections.
Unfortunately, antibiotic misuse is widespread in the livestock industry. The dire, crowded living conditions of factory farm animals promote illness and infection in the animals. So, agribusinesses (Big Ag) routinely give their animals antibiotics even before they’re needed.
Another reason Big Ag often uses antibiotics for livestock is that antibiotics also promote the animals’ growth – and when it comes to the meat industry, bigger animals mean a bigger profit.
The abuse of antibiotics by the livestock industry is a serious and ongoing problem. Now, the FDA has released a report showing a significant increase in the sale of certain antibiotics for use in livestock in 2021, especially in the production of chicken, pork, and beef.
Disturbing consequences of antibiotic use in livestock
To make matters worse, an investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) recently discovered that many factory farms use categories of antibiotics that are critical for human use. These antibiotics are often the last possible way to treat deadly infections.
Factory farms abusing such drugs could have dangerous repercussions on human health. Alarmingly, many companies, such as McDonald’s, Walmart, and Taco Bell, get their meat from farms that use these crucial antibiotics on their animals.
There are around 35,000 deaths yearly related to antibiotic resistance in the U.S. alone. Yet, the risks of antibiotic misuse extend beyond the spread of superbugs.
Some antibiotics used in livestock may be carcinogenic. For instance, carbadox is a suspected carcinogen that’s been banned in Europe for over 20 years. However, it’s still widely used in the U.S. in pork production.
Furthermore, certain harmful bacteria, like Salmonella and E. Coli, may be more likely to become antibiotic-resistant and get passed to humans through animal foods from farms that overuse antibiotics.
How to protect yourself from antibiotic misuse
It’s clear that antibiotic misuse is a serious problem in our society. Sadly, it’s unlikely to be a problem that goes away anytime soon.
However, you can take steps to minimize your exposure to toxic antibiotics and chemicals. Choose your meat carefully, and purchase organic, grass-fed varieties. Seek out animal products from small, local, and organic farms.
Meat from such farms is less likely to contain antibiotics and harmful chemicals and may also be more humanely raised. One suggestion would be to look at the online store, GrassLandBeef.com or purchase quality food products from your local, organic farmer. Either way, never forget, quality matters for your health.