Antibiotic Risk in Livestock Harmful to Population and Not Likely To Change Soon

New research from a Johns Hopkins University panel that assesses the safety of antibiotic use in livestock warns that the general public may face serious health risks

A panel convened recently at John Hopkins University to discuss the use of antibiotics in livestock, according to Al Jazeera, and their results were not encouraging. Though the panel has determined that the risks of antibiotic use in chickens, cows and pigs are serious, they don’t have much confidence that significant change will occur in the near future.

The report states that due to new scientific evidence, there is more proof that the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics poses unnecessary and unreasonable risks to public health.

The panel—consisting of 14 members—also addressed the fact that the FDA has failed to take significant action even though they are aware of the antibiotic use. After the release of the report, there were a series of congressional hearings which, according to the article, resulted in several protests from livestock industry groups.

Antibiotics are used in the food of U.S. cattle, hog and poultry to promote growth and prevent illness. Furthermore, 80% of antibiotic sales come from agriculture, according to the article. The report also suggests that the overuse of antibiotics would lead to antibiotic resistance in humans, further increasing the prevalence of widespread illness. The report’s industry protestors suggest there is not enough evidence to support this claim.

For more information, visit: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/22/expert-panel-saysantibioticuseinlivestockcreatespublicsafetyrisk.html

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