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Antibiotics in livestock

(article, Culinate staff)

You might've missed it in all the winter-holiday hoopla, but in early December, the FDA released a report documenting the use of antibiotics in food animals. As Maryn McKenna reported on Superbug, her Wired blog, U.S. livestock are given an estimated 29 million pounds of antibiotics each year. 

Why is this a big deal? Let's hear McKenna, a science reporter specializing in disease outbreaks, sum it up:

bq. The reason why antibiotic use on farms is a concern, of course, is because such use stimulates the emergence of drug-resistant organisms that move off the farm in animals, in groundwater, in dust, on the wind and in the systems and on the clothes of those who work there, and makes new resistance factors available to be swapped among bacteria.

In other words, antibiotics as food ain't good for livestock, and it ain't good for us. Want to do something about it? Lend your support to the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which aims to reduce antibiotic use in livestock.