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Antibiotic Overuse in Meat Production

The issue of the overuse of antibiotics in meat production is not new. The debate has been around for the last forty years. According to the Greenville News, March 16, 2014, “…these drugs are in much of the food that winds up in American’s diets.”

As a result of people being over exposed to antibiotics the CDC states that, “At least 2 million people contract an antibiotic-resistant infection every year.” And, “At least 23,000 of them die…”

In December, according to the Greenville News, the FDA announced a plan to phase out antibiotic use in animals. This will be voluntary and take three years to implement. “But”, says Jonathan Kaplan, food and agriculture director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, “we have very little reason to believe it’s going to reduce a lot of antibiotic use”.

“The science community has known for four decades that when you give herds and flocks of antibiotics day after day, you end up breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” said Kaplan. “They escape by colonizing workers, going into the environment, riding through the food system on fresh meat products, and can go straight to your kitchen from the grocery store”.

“And children are at a greater risk of getting many of these infections, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics”. “The antibiotics we use orally don’t work anymore and so we’re having kids coming into the hospital. And these bacteria are not only resistant to antibiotics, they tend to cause more severe infections too,” according to Dr. Joe Maurer of Greenville Health Systems The Children’s Clinic.

“Unless you are eating grass-fed, organic beef, you are ingesting antibiotics every time you have a burger,” said Tim Reihm, spokesman for the Alliance for Natural Health – USA, adding that the food chain is “saturated” with antibiotics.

At Potter 8 Ranch the use of antibiotics is limited to the necessity of saving an animal’s life. This animal is then separated from the rest of the herd and is not sold to our customers.

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