Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is organic agriculture leading to an increase in antibiotic resistance?

Hank Campbell 

One of the mostly aggressively promoted attributes of organic agriculture–it uses ‘natural’ fertilizer, better known as manure–may be linked to animal health problems. It turns out that cows fed antibiotics to cure diseases can excrete them back into the environment and that could be one reason for increased antibiotic resistance in the soil.

We can’t be too hard on cows and chickens, people do the same thing and those traces of antibiotics have to be processed in sewage systems. We use a lot of antibiotics because people get sick–but a lot fewer die due to streptococcus and diphtheria than before man-made antibiotics entered the scene, and a lot fewer animals die also. Medical science has clearly saved hundreds of millions of human lives and tens of billions of animals, but how much difference is it making in modern antibacterial resistance?

Organic company marketing departments and their environmental corporation allies have capitalized on the use of antibiotics in livestock and, in many cases, misrepresented it when it comes to resistance. The National Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit over antibiotic use for growth in 2011 but when California recently tried to pass a law mandating no antibiotics for growth and letting farmers revert to FDA guidelines for medical use, the NRDC lobbied against the bill and admitted that antibiotics for growth is actually a tiny percentage of outlier farmers.....To Read More.....


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