Feeling Sick? The Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in our Food

The use (and serious over-use) of antibiotics in our food has been a popular topic lately.  And for good reason…

According to the CDC’s 2013 Threat Report “scientists around the world have provided strong evidence that antibiotic use in food-producing animals can harm public health through the following sequence of events:

  • Use of antibiotics in food-producing animals allows antibiotic-resistant bacteria to thrive…
  • Resistant bacteria can be transmitted from food-producing animals to humans through the food supply.
  • Resistant bacteria can cause infections in humans.
  • Infections caused by resistant bacteria can result in adverse health consequences for humans.”

Basically, 23,000 people die each year (and many more get sick) because animals are fed unnecessary antibiotics.

The FDA has recently restricted antibiotic use in livestock by making it illegal for farmers to use antibiotics as a means of enhancing growth (this change in policy will take effect over the next 3 years) but a major loophole still exists: farmers are not banned from giving animals antibiotics as a means of preventing disease.

Chances are, it will take many more years before the FDA effectively bans the over-use of antibiotics in our meat.  So what can we do in the mean time to keep ourselves safe?

Eat Less Meat and Poultry
The less you eat, the less unnecessary antibiotics you consume.

Buy Antibiotic-Free
Opt for antibiotic-free meat and poultry; it’s more expensive but that provides you with a great opportunity to reduce your overall meat consumption.  Buying antibiotic-free is good for your health and buying less meat, in general, is good for the environment.

Petition 

Sign a petition asking government and retailers to make changes.

What will you do to keep yourself safe?

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