ANTIBIOTIC USE IN POULTRY

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Meanwhile, American poultry farmers are still pumping their birds full of antibiotics, which create drug-resistant bacteria that can cause untreatable gastric illnesses in humans, according to the FDA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the British poultry industry, have encouraged farmers to cut back on antibiotic use, but neither country has plans to ban the practice.

Several years ago, a turkey farm in England was studied. It was found that workers at the farm were resistant to the antibiotic given to the turkeys at the farm, meaning that this drug would not be effective if they needed it for treatment of an infection. This didnít surprise the researchers, but what did surprise them was this: the majority of the people living in the nearby town, who did not work at the turkey farm, were also resistant to the antibiotic!

Source: New Scientist

-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), November 27, 2000

Answers

Just a quick defense of the American poultry farmer(I used to be one). Most farmers are on contract to one of the giant poultry companies, such as Tyson, Foster Farms, Pilgrim, ConAgra, etc. They have NO say in what the birds are fed. If they want to keep their contract, therefore keep their farm and keep servicing the debt, they feed what the company trucks out to them. We didn't like it any better than anyone else, and wouldn't have eaten one of our own birds if we were starving. In the long run, that's why we got out of the business. If you don't like the way American poultry (or beef or pork) is being produced, don't always cuss the farmer. He went with one of the giants because it's the only way to insure a steady income. Talk to the giants about the way they say it's to be produced. Antibiotics, steroids, larvicides, insecticides, it's all there. I grow my own now. No Tyson chicken for me.

-- melina b. (goatgalmjb1@hotmail.com), November 27, 2000.

Good points, Melina. Just another indictment of trying to make food into a factory production. Living things shouldn't be treated like machines even when you are trying to make a living through them.

-- Doreen (animalwaitress@excite.com), November 28, 2000.

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