By Dr. Mercola
The majority of farmed animals (by some estimates more than 99 percent) raised for food in the US are raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).1 In fact, 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the US are used in agriculture.
The food – eggs, dairy, beef, pork, and poultry, for instance – shows up in your supermarket neatly packaged and for reasonable, often low, prices. But the cardboard egg cartons, cellophane wrapped steaks, and chicken breasts do not bear testimony to the true cost of the food.
There are serious moral implications to raising animals as though they are inanimate objects, not worthy of even basic requirements like access to fresh air and sunlight, space to move around and a clean place to sleep.
There are environmental implications, too, as CAFOs continue to pollute our waterways and air with massive quantities of waste. And then there are the health issues. CAFOs are putting public health at risk, all while claiming to offer an efficient way to feed the world.
But while CAFOs have mastered the art of growing profits, they’ve overlooked the basic natural laws that govern growing animals… the end result is a disaster already well into the making.
Reckless Use of Agricultural Antibiotics Has Led to a Crisis of Antibiotic-Resistant Disease
Nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics are administered to livestock in the US every year for purposes other than treating disease, such as making the animals grow bigger faster.
Those antibiotics, and even worse, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, are transferred to you via meat and even through the animal manure that is used as crop fertilizer.
This is a much bigger issue than antibiotics simply being left behind in your meat; it’s a practice that is promoting the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease. According to Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, associate director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):2
“The more you use an antibiotic, the more you expose a bacteria to an antibiotic, the greater the likelihood that resistance to that antibiotic is going to develop. So the more antibiotics we put into people, we put into the environment, we put into livestock, the more opportunities we create for these bacteria to become resistant.”
Bacteria often share genes that make them resistant. In other words, the drug-resistant bacteria that contaminate your meat may pass on their resistant genes to other bacteria in your body, making you more likely to become sick.
Drug-resistant bacteria also accumulate in manure that is spread on fields and enters waterways, allowing the drug-resistant bacteria to spread far and wide and ultimately back up the food chain to us. Now, we’re facing a crisis.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect 2 million Americans every year, causing at least 23,000 deaths.3 Worse still, a report commissioned by UK Prime Minister David Cameron estimates that by 2050 antibiotic resistance will have killed 300 million people, withRead more…