Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Farm to Fork - Antibiotics in animal feed

The use of antibiotics as growth promoters in farm animals has always been a concern of mine. David Smith published this paper in PNAS back in 2002 that suggested antibiotic use in animals helped initiate the appearance of resistant strains early in the epidemic. Catie Couric on today's CBS News highlighted the risks associated with the use of antibiotics as growth promoters and showed how the Danish (and then Europe) were able to ban them which led to far less resistant bacteria in animals and food. She highlighted Tara Smith's and Dan's study published last year that showed high MRSA rates in swine and production workers. I hope she sticks with this like she did the colonoscopy - colon cancer prevention issue, which has been so successful. It was encouraging that Joshua Sharfstein, Deputy Commissioner of the FDA - and until last year Baltimore's Health Commissioner, recognizes this as an important public health problem. Now if he could just come back to Baltimore and help us shovel. (thanks for the tip dad.)

2 comments:

  1. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.............................................

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  2. Dr. Scott Hurd at Iowa State has a different opinion. (See link below) I'm not sure the two sides are mutually exclusive. To say that banning antibiotics in the short run is harmful does not convince me that their use is safe in the long run. I would like to review that WHO study, however.

    links:

    1) http://tinyurl.com/yk5olzw

    2) http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20102130309

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