According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, drug resistant infections have continued to rise around the globe. A piece of the antibiotic resistance puzzle is the heavy use of antibiotics in factory farms.
Factory farming is responsible for many public and environmental health issues, antibiotic resistance is just one of them. Factory farms are also the source of poor air and water quality, food-borne illness and chronic disease for animals. And of course, farms‘ treatment of animals.
Antibiotic use is rampant in factory farms. According to the FDA, 11 million kilograms of antibiotics were sold in the United States for animals. Antibiotics are most commonly used to control disease and make animals grow faster. The antibiotics don’t kill all bacteria, some of which survives and multiplies and contaminates meat.
When genes mutate to resist antibiotics, they start in smaller groups and then mutate to larger quantities. If this ability to become resistant to drugs passes to a larger groups, antibiotics become ineffective. Depending on how quickly and effectively the resistance mutates and moves, humans are in danger of becoming immune to drugs and therefore, simple health issues solved by antibiotics cannot be cured as easily.
Humans are exposed to this bacteria by eating or handling contaminated products, touching farm animals or contaminated water. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance quoted Dr Jianzhong Shen, one of the authors of the Lancet report on the discovery of transferable colistin resistance for antibiotics, “The antibiotic usage in food animals is indeed becoming a global issue associated with food safety and public health. All countries in the world should use the antibiotics in food animals more prudently and rationally. Concerning the antibiotics used as feed additives in food animals, now it is the time to act globally to restrict or prohibit the use of antibiotics in feeds for the purpose of growth promoter or disease preventing, and this should be done on the basis of the evaluation of risk assessments of such antibiotics.”
Original source: www.onegreenplanet.org