Thursday, March 10, 2011

Louise Slaughter Fights Antibiotics In Our Food Supply

Many elected officials have one or two issues that they become identified with.

Luckily for us, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) fight is against the needless administering of antibiotics to our farm animals. Yesterday, Slaughter, who has degrees in both microbiology and public health, reintroduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), which would restrict such use.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that 80 percent of antibiotics used in the United States are given to animals, not humans. The majority given to our livestock is added to its feed in micro dosages to promote growth and to protect against the miserable living conditions of most commercial feedlots.

Unfortunately, the transaction doesn’t end at the barnyard door and we end up eating tainted chicken, beef and pork. Bacteria in the animals are never killed off by the micro amounts of antibiotics and instead develop resistance to those same antibiotics, an essential part of modern human medicine.

According to the press release on Slaughter’s website, “Every year, two million Americans acquire bacterial infections during their hospital stay, and 90,000 will die from them. Tragically, 70 percent of their infections will be resistant to the drugs commonly used to treat them.”

Says Slaughter:
“Antibiotic resistance is a major public health crisis, and yet antibiotics are used regularly and with little oversight in agriculture. As a microbiologist, I cannot stress the urgency of this problem enough . . . When we go to the grocery store to pick up dinner, we should be able to buy our food without worrying that eating it will expose our family to potentially deadly bacteria that will no longer respond to our medical treatments.”
To protect yourself and your family, look for chicken, beef, pork, eggs and dairy that are free of antibiotics. Organic food cannot contain antibiotics. Click here for more information about this topic, courtesy of Keep Antibiotics Working.

Also, remember that antibiotics and hormones are different, but some companies—especially chicken producers—will do their best to confuse us. Click here for a past post I wrote that will help clarify the issue and simplify your shopping.

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