New Bill Would Reduce Antibiotic Use In Animals

Metrocurean doesn't dabble too much in politics, but right on the heels of my post about the wonderful Ecofriendly Foods and their happy pigs came two alarming columns last week about not-so-happy pigs, antibiotics and those creepy "superbugs."

The New York Times
' Nicholas Kristof wrote about the issue in "Pathogens in Our Pork" and "Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health."

The columns disturbed enough people, and today, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation that would curtail the overuse of antibiotics in food animal production, according to release from the Union of Concerned Scientists. More than 350 groups have endorsed the legislation, including the American Medical Association. Such legislation has been blocked in the past by agribusiness interests, according to Kristof.

"Animal producers cannot continue to feed their hogs and chickens the very same penicillin and tetracycline that doctors prescribe for their patients," says Margaret Mellon, a molecular biologist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Using antibiotics as a crutch for crowded, unsanitary conditions at CAFOs [confined animal feeding operations] ultimately puts human lives at risk."

Food for thought, to say the least.