Indiscriminate Antibiotics Use Harms


Scientists warn that antibiotic use in agriculture can harm your health.


Exclusive to American Free Press

By James P. Tucker Jr.


Antibiotic use in agriculture contributes to increasing antibiotic resistance in bacteria carried by humans, according to a panel of scientific experts.

In a new report published the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the panel called for immediate action by government and the agriculture industry to reduce the human health risks.

Antibiotics use for growth promotion should end, the panel said.

Regulatory agencies should provide for a rapid review of alternatives to antibiotics and, where possible, changes in management, use of probiotics such as acidophilous to stimulate healthy bacteria in the intestines and vaccines should be encouraged, it said.

The study, sponsored by the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, is the first to provide a detailed review of both the environmental and human health impacts of antibiotic use on the farm. A multidisciplinary panel of national scientific experts met over an 18-month period and assessed 500 published studies.

“Based on the panel’s extensive evaluation of the evidence, we have found that the use of antibiotics in food animals is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in human infections and must be addressed on an urgent basis,” said Sherwood Gorbach, M.D., co-chairman of the committee.

Low doses of antibiotics are fed to large numbers of food animals over a long period of time. Resistant bacteria can pass through animal waste to other animals, into the production environment and, in some instances, into waterways and other nearby ecosystems, the report said.

Current efforts are helpful but more must be done, the panel said. It recommended stopping over-the-counter sales of certain antibiotics in agriculture and requiring a veterinary prescription when antibiotics are to be administered to food animals.

“There is a critical need for more timely action to ensure that antibiotics remain effective,” said Stuart Levy, M.D., president of the alliance. “Once the resistance in a bacterial population reaches a certain level, reversal becomes extremely difficult.”