Friday, April 13, 2012

FDA: Voluntary Initiative to Reduce Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals



Yesterday, the FDA announced the steps they are taking to promote judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. They are voluntary.

They recommend phasing out agricultural production use of drugs and instead phasing in only medically necessary use under the supervision of a veterinary doctor. 

In case you didn't know, all the meat you buy at a grocery store is usually treated with copious amounts of antibiotics - and not just to treat disease. Antibiotics are used to enhance growth and 'improve feed efficiency'.  Every day. Why is this a big deal? Because antibiotic resistant bugs already kill more Americans each year than AIDS.

So let's see... Instead of making factory farms clean up the filthy, disease-breeding conditions that animals live in and making them stop routine use of antibiotics, they offer a suggestion. For some people, for some children, who unknowingly eat meat with antibiotics every day - it will be a matter of life and death. It is sad that such an important matter is brushed aside instead of being dealt with directly.

What do you think? Should the FDA regulate the [over]use of antibiotics?

This is one of the reasons we go out of our way to buy meat without antibiotics and why you should consider it if you don't already. Because nobody will make that choice for you and your family.


Image: ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

11 comments:

  1. I wish everybody had access to good clean meat, ideally grass fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, well-cared for on well maintained land from the many amazing farmers that are out there in the world who are wonderful. It bothers me so much that poor persons are often deprived good food because of costs & that the average person does not know they deserve better.

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    1. Yep, that's sad. I think if more people knew about it, the big agricultural strongholds would have to change their practices. But for now most people don't even know enough to look into what they actually consume. I wish I could buy more pastured/sustainable farm raised meat, it isn't really in our budget. I do try to get organic or at least hormone/antibiotic free always.

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  2. I really wish it was not so expensive to get good meat w/o antibiotics and who knows what else in it... This has been such a challenge for our family. We are planning to purchase part of a grass fed cow this year. So hard to budget in healthy food for a struggling family but we know it is worth it. The saddest thing here in MA is that bad food is cheap and healthcare are free to low income families (we are one) but healthy food and preventative supplements cost an arm and a leg.

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    1. I know how you feel! We're in the same boat here in MA... I find that we eat a lot less meat than most families because I just don't want to buy the cheap stuff and compromise our health. Whenever we eat conventional meat when we visit someone, we feel sick afterward because we are not used to it. :( We've learned to make do finding better organic meat on sale and just eating smaller portions of it. Would love to buy some at a farm, we're not there yet!

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  3. I agree with what everyone is saying. If farming were done conscientiously, then there should be no need for regulations. It is such a complicated issue to tackle with farming subsidies, farming costs and accepted standards of farming. And the cost of organic, free-range meat can be expensive - hopefully more people will be able to move in that direction and force the sub-par farmers to produce a healthy product.

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  4. I agree that they should at least limit antibiotics etc in the food we eat. I live in Canada and buy my beef from a dairy farmer. In Canada they aren't allowed to sell milk that has antibiotics or hormones in it. So I know my meat is same, plus it's less fatty than non-dairy cows.

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  5. I'd love to see the growth of private screening companies for our food (like the underwriters laboratory is for home electrics). Anytime a government agency regulates something the people with the most power and money own the process. A private screening company would have to build a reputation with the consumer in order to have a viable business model. This would force them to use the highest standards based on scientific evidence.

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  6. I wish i can afford clean meat, i do try eat as clean as possible and my food budget is just over the top, even with the alternatives adding vegetarian dishes 2,3 times a week.
    FDA should regulate antibiotics they use in our meat but will they ever do it, i think they will do what's benefit them not people, it's been proven already.

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  7. This is a huge issue! We try to eat very little meat and the antibiotic issue is one of the main reasons. thanks for the post.

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for your comment! We try to stick to antibiotic free meat whenever possible (at least at home, since we have no control over food when visiting people).

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