Well my background is a board-certified
infectious diseases specialist. Fifteen years of clinical practice. And I do see patients
as an infectious disease specialist. I also am the chief medical officer here
at the hospital, although the opinions I’m expressing are
my own, not reflective of the hospital. Antibiotic resistance is I think one of
the most concerning developments in all of medicine for public health.
You know, one thing I hear is if we ban antibiotics from healthy animals it will
hurt the animals. That they need these antibiotics to keep them healthy. And my
response to that is that the animals that we’re talking about, those species
have been around for millions of years. We’ve known about antibiotics for 80
years. So, for millions of years they lived
without us feeding them antibiotics. It cannot possibly be true that they will
be somehow hurt if we stop giving them antibiotics to growth-promote them.
People will sometimes complain that this could hurt farmers if you ban
antibiotics from growth-promoting livestock. And my response of that is,
Europe has banned antibiotics for growth-promoting livestock. Denmark did it many
years ago, and they’ve actually expanded their herd sizes since they banned the
antibiotics. So are we saying we don’t think American farmers can compete with
European farmers? I have a lot more confidence in the American spirit than
that. I think that’s a pretty cynical view of the world.