By Dr. Mercola
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics.1
Antibiotic overuse occurs not just in medicine, but also in food production. In fact, agricultural usage accounts for about 80 percent of all antibiotic use in the US,2 so it’s a MAJOR source of human antibiotic consumption.
According to a 2009 report3 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on this subject, factory farms used a whopping 29 million pounds of antibiotics that year alone.
Animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention and growth promotion, and those antibiotics are transferred to you via meat, and even through the animal manure that is used as crop fertilizer.
Antibiotics are also used to compensate for the crowded, unsanitary living conditions associated with large-scale confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
CDC Confirms Link Between CAFOs and Superbugs
Now, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention4 (CDC) has finally come out saying that yes, antibiotics used in livestock plays a role in antibiotic resistance and “should be phased out.” According to the CDC’s report,5 22 percent of antibiotic-resistant illness in humans is in fact linked to food. As reported by the featured article:6
“The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said that the report shows that drug-resistant hazards in the food supply pose a serious threat to public health. One-third of the 12 resistant pathogens that CDC categorized as a ‘serious’ threat to public health are found in food.”
The four drug-resistant pathogens in question are Campylobacter, which causes an estimated 310,000 infections and 28 deaths per year; Salmonella, responsible for another 100,000 infections and 38 deaths annually; along with E.coli and Shigella. To address this growing problem, the CDC’s report issues the following recommendations: