We most often hear about antibiotic-resistance in the context of over-prescribing drugs, however AMP’s latest risk report (April 2017), Is factory farming making us sick?, suggests that antibiotics used in meat production may leave vast numbers of people exposed to potentially fatal diseases that many assumed were treatable (such as pneumonia).
According to Statista, drug-resistant infections are rising precipitously. The site reports that, “by 2050, ten million people are set to lose their lives every year unnecessarily unless drastic action is taken to tackle the problem.” As reported by the BBC, a new report from the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has identified antibiotic use on farms as a crucial component of the human health threat.
A Guardian article in September 2016 Secrecy surrounding antibiotic use on Australian farms sparks superbug fears suggests that a lack of appropriate controls in Australia mean we commonly don’t know which antibiotic is given for which animal and how much is used.
“We know the US pork industry uses four to five times the amount of antibiotics as the industry in Denmark. In Australia we don’t really know, we don’t know which antibiotic is given for which animal and how much.
“In humans you need prescriptions so we can get that data but in food and animals we don’t know because there’s not the mechanism to get the data, and manufacturers cite commercial confidence.”
- Read more in the Scientific American article (Dec 2016) How Drug-Resistant Bacteria Travel from the Farm to Your Table. “Antibiotic-resistant bacteria from livestock pose a deadly risk to people. But the farm lobby won’t let scientists track the danger.“
- More on Antibiotics and the Food Animal Industry at Sustainable Table (US).
- More on the Australian context – Animals Australia
- You can increase demand for antibiotic-free meat by choosing organic.
- Find out more at http://antibiotic-action.com