Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pew Talks Farmers and Antibiotics in SELF Magazine
Washington--An article on superbugs and farmers in SELF Magazine, authored by The Pew Charitable Trusts, has hit the Internet. The article takes aim at antibiotics used by farmers on livestock, which it says is making more people resistant to antibiotics when they become sick with food-borne superbugs.

“Hundreds of pieces of research since the 1970s show that a routine farming practice—inappropriately giving antibiotics to animals—has helped encourage antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow and spread,” states the article. “Now, in unpredictable ways, those germs have moved into our environment, including the environment of farms that harvest vegetables.”
The article does take into account agriculture’s position that farmers use antibiotics on their livestock only when absolutely necessary and that everyday “misuse of antibiotics by doctors and patients plays a much larger role.” But it then goes on to highlight the health community’s position that, “Industry wants to lay all the blame for the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the medical profession, but the epidemiologic evidence doesn't add up,” according to Robert Lawrence, M.D., at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Another article critical of agricultural antibiotic use also is featured in this month’s edition of Redbook.

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