News on antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meat is not good

Maryn McKenna writes in Wired News about two important documents recently and quietly released by the FDA about antibiotic use in livestock raising, and what the results of that antibiotic use are. "The news does not appear to be good."


  1. So it appears that letting them cram the animals together more, and give them huge amounts of antibiotics to deal with that overcrowding lead to problems.  Well who could have seen that coming?  *stares*

    Can we find the lobbyists who pushed for these relaxed rules, the heads of the corporations who paid them, and the congresscritters who benefited from making this happen and have them sit down for a nice meal?  It would be nice for them to get a first hand experience of what their ideas lead to.

    1. I think many of us have fantasized about this sort of accountability. Perhaps a website that aggregates such info so that when a problem down the road reveals itself, we can call them out. KICKSTARTER!!!

  2. Maddening.

    Non-prescription use of antibiotics by humans is a problem; the stuff is treated as a cure-all in Mexico for example.

    But the sheer amount of antibiotics used on livestock, and the fact that animals are a rich source new strains of dangerous microbes, makes the feedlot abuses especially problematical.

    1. Z-packs are the Go To placebo for many General Practitioners in the US. It is the antibiotic that they prescribe to patients who insist they need some for the cold or flu that will go away on its own.

  3. This is why people who can afford organic should buy organic.  It’s not easy to find a supplier for organic grass-fed beef, but I’m going to make room in the freezer for it.  I’d rather the FDA were actually doing its job and just banning routine antibiotic use for livestock, but in this case a market solution driven by informed consumers could work almost as well.

  4. I was thinking about this when the whole beef horse meat scandal in Europe.  “I’d be a bit more concerned about all the other stuff that’s in the food…”

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