Dr. Joseph Perrone Antibiotic Use in Animals

Dr. Joseph Perrone Antibiotic Use in Animals


Lately, more restaurants and food
companies are running ad campaigns announcing they’re exclusively
serving antibiotic-free meat. But is this meat actually
healthier for consumers? Antibiotics are an important tool
for farmers to treat sick animals and prevent animals from getting ill. By strategically using these drugs,
farmers ensure only meat from healthy animals eventually
makes it to your plate. Just because farmers use drugs to
keep animals healthy doesn’t mean you’re getting a dose of them
when you eat a hamburger. In fact, antibiotics in animals
are long gone before their meat ever ends up on your plate. That’s because the Food and
Drug Administration has strict guidelines requiring animals to be taken
off these drugs for a period of time before they enter the food supply. That
means all meat you buy, or eat, in the US is already antibiotic-free. In fact, there is
no scientific evidence that the meat labeled “antibiotic-free” is any healthier. Instead, in countries where farmers
cannot use preventative medicines to keep animals healthy,
farmers have had to use more antibiotics to treat animals
when they do get sick. The primary objection to the
use of antibiotics on farms is that it might contribute
to the growing problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria. But there’s no evidence that countries that
limit the use of farm medicines have seen a decline in antibiotic
resistant bacteria in humans. In fact, a new European study shows
meat is an insignificant source of antibiotic resistant
infections in humans. That’s because a major driver of
antibiotic resistance is over prescription of these drugs by doctors
who give them to patients who don’t need them, or
don’t take them as prescribed. The unnecessary use of the
most common antibiotics by people, not animals, poses the
greatest challenge to public health. Choosing a burrito or a footlong
sub labeled “antibiotic-free” might make you feel like you’re
making a healthier choice. But in reality, you’re
simply paying more… For a label. To learn more, visit:
accountablescience.com

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