Monday, May 16, 2011

Louise Slaughter's Continued Fight Against Antibiotics In Food

Two months ago I wrote about Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) fight against the needless administering of antibiotics to our farm animals. Slaughter, who has degrees in both microbiology and public health, is the force behind the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), which would restrict such use.

Last week Slaughter divulged a letter she received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which contained specific statistics about how these antibiotics are given to our animals: 74 percent of antibiotics are sold for use via feed, 16 percent for use via water and 3 percent for use via injection.

According to Slaughter’s website, the process of medicating feed “results in inconsistent drug dosing, and can lead to antibiotic resistance among bacteria not eliminated by low doses of drugs.”

Said Slaughter:

“These statistics tell the tale of an industry that is rampantly misusing antibiotics in an attempt to cover up filthy, unsanitary living conditions among animals. As they feed antibiotics to animals to keep them healthy, they are making our families sicker by spreading these deadly strains of bacteria. 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 no longer responsive to medical treatments.”
Furthermore, according to Slaughter’s website:
“Studies have shown inconsistent dosing to have wide ranging consequences. A recent article in Environmental Health Perspectives concluded that dispensing medication via feed 'makes delivering a predictable, accurate, and intended dose difficult. Overdosing can lead to animal toxicity; underdosing or inconsistent dosing can result in a failure to resolve animal diseases and in the development of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms.'"
To protect yourself and your family, look for chicken, beef, pork, eggs and dairy that are free of antibiotics. Organic food cannot contain antibiotics.

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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