by Linda Dulicai
In a previous article, we said the United States is using antibiotics to increase size and weight of livestock animals raised for meat. However, other countries are not using the medication that comes with some serious problems, namely, antibiotic resistance.
“Concern about the growing level of drug-resistant bacteria has led to the banning of sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in meat animals in many countries in the European Union and Canada,” says a Frontline report. “In the United States, however, such use is still legal. The World Health Organization is concerned enough about antibiotic resistance to suggest significantly curbing the use of antibiotics in the animals we eat. In a recent report, the WHO declared its intention to "reduce the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in food animals for the protection of human health." Specifically, the WHO recommended that prescriptions be required for all antibiotics used to treat sick food animals, and urged efforts to ‘terminate or rapidly phase out antimicrobials for growth promotion if they are used for human treatment.’”
So why is the United States still using antibiotics? Because they can.
Antibiotics in meat has been an issue since long before I was involved in environmental justice around animal factory issues. One of the challenges is that the industry is so dirty, they simply cannot keep the animals alive to production weight without the drugs. Even that may no longer be working for them, though. Take for example the outbreak in pig factories last year that resulted in an almost 100% death rate of the piglets.
The meat industry maintains that quitting antibiotic use in raising livestock will cause the cost of meat to skyrocket, since it’s efficient to use the drugs to produce larger, meatier animals. But any time the industry is told they should change something – and this is not limited to meat production – the knee jerk response is that the cost to consumers will rise.
The truth is that if the healthcare costs were taken into account, we as consumers would acknowledge we could afford not using antibiotics for animal growth. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Studies have estimated that, in the United States, antibiotic resistance adds $20 billion in excess direct health care costs, with additional costs to society for lost productivity as high as $35 billion a year.”
I’m not a big proponent of
using antibiotics unless nothing else works, and I’m even talking about using them for sick human beings. Given this, you can imagine how I feel about
animals being given drugs for the sake of the meat industry. I would be happy to share my decades of
knowledge surrounding this issue. Contact me today.
A practitioner for more than
38 years, Linda Dulicai is a Certified Natural Health Professional and an Advanced Loomis Digestive Health Specialist educated in more than 25 modalities of wellness. She is CEO of
The Healthy Zone.