How Much Are Antibiotics Used in Your Meat?

How Much Are Antibiotics Used in Your Meat?


Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is already a
growing problem. But is the food we eat making it worse? Hello everyone, Amy with you on DNews today. Every vegetarian has their own reason for
going meatless. For me, meat’s just too chewy. For others, the drugs farmers feed
livestock might be behind their rationale to go meatless, and this one is actually something
meat eaters should know about. According to the Food and Drug Administration,
antibiotic use by the meat industry is on the rise. The most recent FDA report said
the amount of antibiotics sold to farmers and ranchers for administration to livestock
has gone up by 20 percent between 2009 and 2013. Why is this a problem, you ask? For the most part, human antibiotics are administered
to animals that aren’t sick. Livestock destined for your grocery store
don’t exactly live in spa-like conditions. These animals are often crammed together in
cages or pens that aren’t the cleanest, which means they can get sick and might not
grow to a healthy size. It would make sense that improved living conditions
would yield healthier, bigger animals, but that costs money, and drugs are a cheaper
option. Human antibiotics added to animals food and water supply can help them grow as
much as 3 percent larger than they normally would, which is significant in an industry
where the product is sold by the pound. And while this might be good for the farmers,
it’s pretty bad for the rest of us, particularly those among us who eat meat. Giving healthy
animals antibiotics kills off weaker bacteria and creates a perfect environment for antibiotic-resistant
bacteria to grow and thrive. Those bacteria travel to us, the consumers, directly in the
meat or indirectly on the hands of workers who may be exposed to the antibiotic-resistant-bacteria-rich
meat. If you eat undercooked meat where those antibiotic-resistant bacteria are present,
you could get sick with a bacteria that an antibiotic can’t treat. The CDC says around 2 million Americans get
infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria every year. And at least 23-thousand people
die from those infections. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, the US
uses far more antibiotics in livestock than other nations, Norway and Denmark use about
six times less antibiotics raising animals. Feeding antibiotics to animals is illegal
in Canada and a number of European Union nations. A federal policy was put in place last year
that would force drug manufacturers to label their products as unfit for animal consumption
unless prescribed by a veterinarian. But this policy didn’t address a major loophole.
Farmers can argue that they’re feeding their livestock drugs to prevent illness, which
is an effect of the antibiotics in the animals’ food supply. The meat industry doesn’t publicize figures
about drug usage in livestock so it’s hard to say just how much antibiotics make it into
our food supply. But according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences, more than 63-thousand tons of antibiotics were used by livestock
farmers in 2010. Researchers expect that number to rise by 67% by 2030. On the other hand, some companies are beginning
to cull or even eliminate the use of human antibiotics on animals. Recently McDonald’s
announced it was phasing out antibiotic-fed chickens in its U.S. restaurants. Chipotle
and Panera have been offering antibiotic-free meat for a while now. But in the mean time,
it’s still legal practice in the United States. If you wanna know more about antibiotic resistance
and the search for a cure, check out this episode of Seeker Stories that follows a team
of researchers to the bottom of the ocean to find the next antibiotic. “You say this is a crisis, if you had to rate
it on a scale of 1-10, where are we at on the antibiotic crisis?” “Eleven. It’s very
serious. We are about to return to a pre antibiotic era where even basic surgeries and other basic
procedures could lead to death by bacterial pathogens.” And if you’re on mobile, we’ve got a link
to that video down below. So what do you guys think. Are you worried
about antibiotics in your meat? Let us know in the comments below or you can
find me and let me know directly on Twitter as @astVintageSpace. And don’t forget to
subscribe for more DNews every day of the week.

100 Replies to “How Much Are Antibiotics Used in Your Meat?”

  1. I wish I could afford more organic food. If I see a good deal, I scoop it up, but most of my meat is not grass fed or labels it antibiotic free.

  2. This is an important question. I never eat undercooked meat but if I get the antibiotics while not sick it's still to bad. 3% weight gain can't be a valid reason to use it but an infection would spread wildly in cramped farms, one get sick all get sick. I'm also against the use of growth hormones that we then eat and get dangerous cell-growth in organs over time. It doesn't take much to get out of control.

  3. So it is not only chewy meat, it is also overpriced, unhealthy, has a chance to give you one hell of an infection, and is made by animals living in poor conditions.

    What's there to not like?

  4. whenever i see a chicken farm like the ones u show they look pretty good clean and organized…it just was the opposite of what she said

  5. When I move out, my friend and I plan to research carefully the businesses that sell meats to ensure we only buy meats with animals which were treated properly and not genetically modified or given antibiotics. We also plan to not buy food with GMOs and such.
    (We have to wait until after we move out because her family has other expenses that they are focusing on instead and my family really doesn't care.)

  6. The problem like always is with labeling.
    Let people decide whether they want to eat antibiotic meat or not dont make laws banning it outright.

    Once research shows that antibiotics we consume in meat causes significant harm people will start caring about it and people will start eating more non antibiotic meat.

    For now we have other issues as well.'
    People consume tons of unhealthy things and we dont ban or label those so i dont see a reason to ban this one particular thing.

    Grilling things (like meat or veggies) releases carcinogens.
    Yet people still eat hamburgers or grilled vegetables in vegan restaurants.

  7. These people are fucking off the handle, it's been proven that without antibiotics the animals will actually yield even more overall than with antibiotics. Some people are just so fucked up in the head, no matter what reality looks like, they just need to follow some bullshit rule invented by some idiot who has no fucking clue, just like people also do with religion.

  8. In 2011 it was estimated that about 80% of antibiotics produced went to livestock production (food animals) in the US.
    In China about 50% of the antibiotics produced in country went to livestock.
    The truth is however, there isn't much hard data on many other countries but as we can clearly see it's still in great numbers.
    Clostridium difficile is one of our most urgent bacterial threats, sickening a quarter million Americans every year, and killing thousands to the cost of a billion dollars a year, and it’s on the rise. Whereby surgeons need to come in and remove our colon entirely to save our lives, although the surgery is so risky, the operation alone may kill us half the time.
    The frequency of contamination of retail chicken has been documented to be up to 1 in 6 packages off store shelves and particular attention has been paid to pigs because of high rates of C. diff shedding into their waste, which can lead to the contamination of retail pork, and the U.S. has the highest levels of C. diff meat contamination so far tested in the world.
    Go veg, it's basically the answer to all the world's problems today.

  9. We're all going to die anyway, I don't see a problem in accelerating the process by munching on big juice medium rare steaks 😉  Make mine extra bloody…oh yeah xD

  10. I now think of it , i am really lucky to live in england cause this is illegal, mcdonalds in uk only gets british and irish beef whereas USA or other countries in europe buy brazilian meat

  11. They are not allowed to pump them full of antibiotics like that here in New Zealand.
    Here our beef is grass and hay feed and they are free range not stuffed in feed lots.
    I guess that is why a lot of people say hamburgers in the US do not taste as good as the ones from the very same chain stores outside the US.

  12. I wish you guys would've uploaded this before I turned in my research project on antibiotic use on livestock Dx

  13. Am I the only one who's being annoyed at the title? Much is singular, "Antibiotics" is a plural word, so the title should be: "How Many Antibiotics Are In Your Meat?"
    Correct me if I'm wrong please!

  14. Talk about fish rain! I saw a story on a "fish rain" that happened in Thailand and I was like, is that even possible?

  15. Oh my God! Farmers are going to kill us. I'm start scared with the meal I ate today. Seriously our stomach creates problems!

  16. Not an issue for me. I get all my meat and eggs from local sources people I've known for years. The problem is our culture of being completely separated from our food and relying on over commercialized, over industrialized "products". If you think you're safe from all of this by being vegetarian you're kidding yourself. Get know your local farmers and stop relying on fast food and preprocessed garbage.

  17. First of all I'm a farmer and we feed antibiotics to are animals just like you would to your kid if we can prevent an animal from getting sick, we will and large farms are so clean I would eat of the ground there if anything you should be worried about local farms not keeping good hygiene or not preventing illnesses. And for the vegans when we butcher our animals they are not in any pain or stress they die instantly and don't feel a thing also we don't butcher unless we have to we don't enjoy it at all, just like you pay taxes but you don't want to its the same for us, we need to pay the bills so we HAVE TO SELL OUR ANIMAL PRODUCTS. Also last time I checked most people don't even know where their food comes from, I bet most vegans don't know how an egg is formed our has ever been to a certified farm, certified farms are clean and they do what ever they can to keep their animals/fruits and veggies healthy and alive. Besides the meat and vegetables that go to your table have to go through 5 or 6 other places for testing so its not poisonous or o.d on meds if you noticed she said nothing about the last 3 years because the system for keeping track of what's being put in your food was ultra enforced in 2012 after a bunch of people were getting sick from farmers o.d ing their animals

  18. What tools are available to the consumer to know what and how much antibiotics are going into the food?  Is the organic label good enough?  Can the public request FDA records from the farmer?  Are there labels?  Can we send food in for testing?  Does cooking destroy antibiotics?

  19. Over the past few years, there has been a shift in the US market with consumers wanting to know what is in their food. Farms have started to change practices and focus on more sustainable agriculture. Giving antibiotics or hormones to masses is by no means healthy. All of those chemicals get into the food chain and passed to us. Some farms are 100% antibiotic free but that doesn't mean that animals don't get sick, they just don't always get treated. There are many organizations that certify food through inspectuons and record keeping, providing "labels". Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Organic, and Certified Naturally Grown are some examples. Best advice is know your farmer, their practices and buy local when possible. -Advice from a farmer

  20. I don't think people care about what the animals feel like–
    Imagine:
    You standing with a pierced in tag on your ear, and you can't walk anywhere because you're standing in a box (like they showed the cows & pigs).
    No DUH get more frickin space! It's better for the poor animals AND nobody has to worry about the stupid antibiotics in our meat! 
    Ugh this just really bothers me. I feel so bad for those poor animals. :'(

  21. Here in germany you have about 120-160mg Antibiotics per kilogram meat, as the "Fleischatlas 2014" revealed.

  22. Antibiotics are a stopgap that needs to last us until we get to near-Star Trek levels of medical technology. (as in, we're almost certainly have rejection-proof, lab-grown organs long before we can replace antibiotics)

    Considering they're what stands between us and something resembling 1800s medicine (or worse), making it illegal to give them to livestock is, really, the only sane option.

  23. Hey, what about hormones injected to animals like chicken for fast growth?? how does that effect humans? Thumbs up if u want to know..

  24. I'd heard of this before, but it's an interesting refresher. Part of the problem is how much Americans eat compare to the rest of the world. We eat approximately 200lb a year each. On average, the rest of the world eats less than half of that. Instead of doing the right thing and taking care in raising animals for food our market tries to meet the demand and make it affordable. If you want meat that was properly and safely raised you have to pay for it. That makes sense. We could solve our own problems if we had the resolve to do it.

    Eat less meat = fewer animals to raise = more room and funds for those animals.

  25. The video never answers the question that it raises. How Much Antibiotics Are In Your Meat? Yes, we understand that some farmers use antibiotics in the raising of livestock but how much of that actually makes it into the meat we consume. The half life of most antibiotics is a measure of hours and since most animals are treated near the beginning of life I would assume we are exposed to nearly no antibiotics at all. If this is incorrect please correct me.

  26. Big business doesn't care about you, they care about your money. Never forget that. That includes Chipotle, yes they don't use antibiotics… but they don't do it so they can attract your wallet. Companies in the long run will do what we want, as long as we hurt their revenue first.

  27. Sign a campaing to ask for a stop antibiotics
    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/antibiotics_factory_farms_euexcluk/?fpla

  28. Well – give up the meat and eat more fish. Oops, mercury, And for those who fear genetically modified plants matter well you're screwed.

  29. What if the antibiotics are chemically reacting with the GMO and pesticide chemicals within the meat? Food animals are fed GMO crops probably sprayed with more pesticides than our GMO crops and also fed antibiotics. I'm not saying GMOs are bad but when mixed with other pesticides or antibiotics is or could this have a chemical reaction? Not only that, but what is the water like? How clean is it ? And how well do these animals process heavy metals and toxins? They get no exercise because most are kept in confinement in order for them to grow faster. And I also forgot to mention any growth hormones they may be feeding them And how long before it reaches someone's dinner plate? To me, meat just seems like a chemical latent substance we should be weary of eating.

  30. …….and guess who's supplying these farmers with these antibiotics? That's right, from the same lot that manufactures all the drugs that are making us all sick.

  31. As I like to call it, Reckless Endangerment of the Population. People talk about airplanes being great for transportation of diseases, but where do those diseases start? Also, if an animal is sick, SEPARATE IT FROM THE OTHERS. NEVER send sick animals to the slaughterhouse. If you can't spare the money to feed it with no return, kill it and throw it away. It is NOT worth it.

    One of the worst things about this is issue is that it's SO SIMPLE, yet 80% of the population is going to be killed by plague as a result. This isn't just about diseases, this is about increase ease of transportations and dirty planes make it easy for diseases to travel, but we are creating diseases that we have no way of fighting. If we don't stop this RIGHT NOW, we will be powerless when it matters.

  32. Meat doesn't have antibiotics in it. A farmer is required by law, after the administration of drugs. To wait a specified amount of days, to butcher, until the antibiotics are out of their system. Have any of you seen a cow with pinkeye. Our get it a lot because they are Herefords (cattle with usually white faces and red coats, or white faces with black coats), and cattle with white faces usually get pinkeye easier. When they have pinkeye there is no way to stop it without antibiotics, and if left untreated they either die, get cancer in their eyes, or go completely blind and stop eating and die anyways. It is not pretty. Without being vaccinated even they will get it just about every year or two years. Cows are beautiful animals, they deserve to be treated with antibiotics when they are sick. Just like you and me. So shut up and stop thinking about yourselves. Cows have feelings too. Ours just started to have calves (the newest ones just had their first go of pinkeye, a full two days of building gates and fences for the hydraulic shoot in the hot sun YAY), and their calves are the cutest ever. Our oldest cow 18 had a black and white faced Highland/Hereford, and we plan on keeping her for a cow next year since we are getting a new bull. It would be a real shame if she lost her life, ability to see and then her life, or got cancer and then lost her life. Just because someone didn't want antibiotics in their meat….Ok done with the rant, I'm sorry if this hurts some of your itsy bitsy feelings. However I DONT CARE. End of Story. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go out and enjoy a day with my new calf (Cherry).

  33. buying a product is voting for that product. so buy more of what you think is important for you. easy peasy. spread the word

  34. Im glad I live in Norway. We have by far the lowest antibiotics in meat production worldwide. I understand why people living in countries like spain, germany or USA would go vegan though.

  35. How much antibiotics are in your meat?  None.  There are no fucking antibiotics in meat.  If an animal is given a(n) antibiotic(s), that animal has to go through a withdrawal period until the antibiotic(s) are completely out of their system.  It is illegal to sell meat with antibiotics still in them.  This is just a marketing sham to get you to spend more money on something that is already true:  All meat is antibiotic free when you fucking buy it!

  36. bye bye any rare meat , …… , all must be well done…. that is hardest way to get right and not rubbery… cheers

  37. All this is true. Also, that most of the veggies you eat have been spread with insecticides, especially if they come from South America — which great porcentage of them are.
    Then, you better grow your own vegetables, fruits, chickens, even fishes.
    Otherwise… "Forget about it!"

  38. Just don’t eat animals, or their by products. It’s not healthy, not good for the environment, and so cruel to the innocent animals. The American academy of nutrition and dietetics already approves a well planed vegan diet as appropriate for any stage of life. 🙏🏻🌱🤗

  39. More antibiotics but there’s more meat being produced…I need a rate not just a total number. Freakin statisticians nightmare.

  40. Simple solution: eat more wild caught seafood. Wild caught isn’t fed any hormones or anti biotics as it’s killed immeditaly on ship and then flash frozen instantly. Not to mention seafoods awesome.

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