Hidden Dangers: Antibiotics Should Not Be Used in Any Animal Feed

Topics: Antibiotic resistance, Bacteria, Livestock Pages: 2 (677 words) Published: December 18, 2012
When you are on a farm or driving by a field and there are cows everywhere; and chickens as well as other animals, have you ever thought about the times when all of those animals eat. The feed that they eat very often contains different types of antibiotics. These antibiotics have many raising concerns for health factors when passed through the live stock when those animals are processed for us to consume. I believe that those antibiotics and drugs that are passed through the feed have an adverse effect on the meat when it is processed. There are many articles that have been published stating the effects that this animal feed have on humans when the meat is processed and ingested.

In one article that I have read, it clearly states that study after study has shown that feeding antibiotics to livestock as growth promoters leads to antibiotic-resistance appearing in bacteria in the animals, and eventually in bacteria that cause diseases in people. It has always been assumed that this was because the drugs allowed naturally resistant strains to flourish, or evolve over time. Now, astonishingly, it has been found that the crude antibiotics fed to farm animals for decades actually include resistance genes. The feed-grade antibiotic avoparcin made by the Swiss firm Roche contains DNA from the bacteria used to produce it, including intact copies of a cluster of three genes that confer resistance, Karen Lu's team at the University of British Columbia in Canada report in the online journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Many gut bacteria engulf DNA fragments, and any that express the resistance genes in the presence of the antibiotic would have an obvious advantage. Avoparcin is not used in North America, but the team notes that almost all feed-grade antibiotics consist of the same kind of crude preparation, and probably also carry resistance genes, creating "an enormous gene pool for antimicrobial resistance in the environment". The avoparcin-resistance genes the team...
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