Monday, March 8, 2010

Nicholas Kristof: "The Spread of Superbugs"

To find out why I avoid eating meat from animals raised with the help of antibiotics and counsel others to do the same, read Nicholas Kristof’s column, “The Spread of Superbugs,” from yesterday’s New York Times.

Because of the low doses of antibiotics given to farm animals to help them grow faster, superbugs have developed that are resistant to antibiotics when administered to sick humans. The micro doses of antibiotics don’t kill off the bugs but instead make them stronger.

According to Kristof, the “Infectious Diseases Society of America, an organization of doctors and scientists, has been bellowing alarms. It fears that we could slip back to a world in which we’re defenseless against bacterial diseases.”

Legislation exists in the House of Representatives to deal with this issue, but—shocker—“agribusiness interests have blocked it in committee—and the Obama administration and the Senate have dodged the issue.”

Again, the consumer gets the short end of the stick.

How to avoid antibiotics in your chicken, pork and beef? Look for products, such as chicken from Murray’s and Bell & Evans, that are labeled accordingly. Organic meats are free of antibiotics.

For more information about the extreme dangers of antibiotics in our food supply, click here to read an in-depth article that appeared in Johns Hopkins Magazine last year.

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