Farm animals are loaded up with antibiotics whether they need drugs or not. Sold by the drug companies for disease prevention and to promote growth, farmers use antibiotics out of fear of losing money. The European Union banned the practice several years ago.

Katie Couric/CBS has a recent story on antibiotic use on farms, entitled “Animal Antibiotic Overuse Hurting Humans?” Among other issues, the practice may be related to the rise of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which the Mayo Clinic points out is a

… strain of staph that’s resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it. MRSA can be fatal. …

MRSA infections are spreading beyond hospitals into the wider community, and are one reason why doctors ought not prescribe antibiotics indiscriminately. The more that bugs are exposed to the drugs, the more opportunity they have to adapt, rendering antibiotics ineffective.

The CBS report does not note that the EU has banned this practice, as detailed here by the Union of Concerned Scientists, who write

On January 1, 2006, the European Union banned the feeding of all antibiotics and related drugs to livestock for growth promotion purposes. The sweeping new policy follows up a 1998 ban on the feeding of antibiotics that are valuable in human medicine to livestock for growth promotion. Now, no antibiotics can be used in European livestock for growth promotion purposes. …


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