A recent Food and Drug Administration study shows that antibiotic abuse is on the rise in factory farms resulting in increased levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Consider this, a whopping 81% of raw turkey was found to contain antibiotic resistant bacteria, 69% contamination in pork chops, 55% in ground beef and 39% in chicken.
While proper handling and cooking may reduce infection exposure to humans, the real threat is the fact that as antibiotic resistance grows, so does our ability to treat infections in humans. Common illnesses like tonsillitis, strep throat, pneumonia and infections from cuts may no longer respond to antibiotics, turning these infections into potential lethal illnesses.
Is the FDA concerned. Apparently not. As so often seems to be the case, the FDA is more beholden to “Big Ag” then it is to the public, so while it recommends guidelines for the use of antibiotics in industrial animal raising operations, there is nothing in the way of enforcement when guidelines are exceeded and no system in place to monitor how widespread the problem is.
As long as there is money to be made Big Ag is not going to police itself. Factory farm operations show an utter disregard for the humane treatment of the animals raised. To them, a chicken is no different from a USB port being soldiered into a laptop – both are merely components of a product that makes money.
Eating meat is bad to begin with; it has been linked to cancers, heart disease and a variety of other serious and often fatal conditions. The production of meat is worse; inhumane treatment of animals, greenhouse gas emissions that exceed those caused by automobiles, polluted rivers, lakes and oceans, deforestation to clear land for cattle – the list goes on. And who pays for this mess? Not Big Ag. As is the usual case, the sins of the corporations are borne by the taxpayers.
Our government cannot be counted upon to help – it is under too much influence from Big Ag. The only one who can make a difference is you. Stop eating meat, or at least reduce your consumption, and if you must eat meat, only buy from certified humane producers.