Although the United States Food and Drug Administration has been warning about the excessive use of antibiotics in livestock, farmers are continuing to use the drugs on animals that will end up on dinner tables across the country. In fact, recent evidence has shown that the use of antibiotics on farms is growing at an extremely rapid pace. The news comes despite the fact that overuse of antibiotics in agriculture has been shown on multiple occasions to be dangerous to the consuming public.
A new report from the FDA has shown that antibiotic use in agriculture has increased by at least 23% since 2009. In the past year alone, there has been at least a 3% increase. This is highly concerning, as scientists and national health groups have been warning people about the dangers of this practice. The excessive use of antibiotics causes harm to the animals, and it creates antibiotic-resistant pathogens which can easily be passed on to humans.
Senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council Avinash Kar wrote, “Dangerous overuse of antibiotics by the agricultural industry has been on the rise at an alarming rate in recent years, putting the effectiveness of our life-saving drugs in jeopardy for people when they get sick.”
In 2013, the FDA presented farmers and major agricultural companies across the country with new safety guidelines regarding antibiotics. However, this has not stopped the use of antibiotics, as those within the agricultural sector have continuously stated that the use of antibiotics is critical to meet growing consumer demand. Farmers and major meat producers have not only ignored the guidelines from the FDA, they have actually increased their usage of antibiotics even further. This has already created dangerous pathogens that cannot be easily treated by most medicines.
Expert in medicine, biology and the environment Dr. Sanjaya Senanayake said, “A number of studies have shown that travelers going to countries that have resistant bacteria in them will often come back with those resistant bacteria sitting in their bowels. If it doesn’t cause an infection then it’s okay and usually after a few months they lose that bacteria. But if it does it can cause serious problems.”
Indeed, the meat industry in the United States is full of harmful dangers.