Antibiotics in Meat
According to reports from such sources as CBS Evening News and Mercy for Animals, over the past year alone, bacterial infections have killed over 70,000 Americans. Scientists call it the new emerging health crisis and blame a large part of the increase in human infections on the aggressive use of antibiotics in the treatment of farm animals.
Since the issues have come to public attention, the FDA has finally spoken against the misuse of antibiotics in farm animals saying, “We have identified here that we’re talking about a public health issue, that the overuse of antibiotics on farms does pose a risk to human health.” – Joshua Sharfstein
When people consume large quantities of meat treated with the same antibiotics used to treat human infections, the immunity of certain strains of bacteria is severely increased. When this occurs, people are more likely to develop incurable infections because the drugs that exist to combat the bacteria no longer work.
Pending legislation in Congress could eventually ban certain types of antibiotics from being used in agriculture, but other issues surrounding the use of antibiotics in livestock remain. Most cattle, chickens, pigs, turkeys and other animals are given heavy doses of these antibiotics to help prevent infections and death caused by their filthy living conditions.
The mass production of meat has created a factory-like environment, where animals are raised in small pens, standing in large amounts of feces, and are often shipped with hundreds of other animals in a single crammed trailer or box. Animals are frequently injured in these conditions. Antibiotics are a way of helping to ensure those injured and sickly animals make it to the slaughterhouse without requiring any medical attention.
Animals raised in a “free-range” environment rarely require medical attention or antibiotics in the first place, bringing the current arrangement of the meat industry to the forefront of not only the antibiotics issue, but nearly every issue surrounding food processing that exists today (food poisoning, animal abuse, use of toxic chemicals and additives in foods, etc.) See: The Truth About The Meat Industry