According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), antibiotic use in meat industry has increased since 2013. Almost 23 percent of the animals raised for meat receive high doses of antibiotic.
FDA rings an alarm bell, reporting that 96 percent of the antibiotic sales in the United States are being used for animal food and water. The rate increased with 3 percent compared to 2013 and with 23 percent compared to 2009. About 21 million pounds of antibiotics were sold in 2014.
Health advocates urge the FDA to regulate the market of livestock antibiotics by imposing clear limits aimed to reduce the use of antibiotics. FDA’s current approach, based on the voluntary reduction inside the industry is clearly not effective in the vision of health advocates.
However, FDA has been taking measures to restrain the use of antibiotics by moving their availability from over-the-counter to veterinary prescription. Drug sponsors have to annually report to the FDA the quantity of antimicrobial drugs that they sale for food-producing animals.
According to the CDC, overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of superbugs, which affect almost two million people each year and kill more than 23,000.
The FDA is working together with the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to collect more data on the use of antibiotics that are considered medically important for human medicine.
In May 2015 the FDA revised its reporting system for drug sponsors of antibiotics sold for use in farms in order to obtain more relevant data, including devised by food-producing species.
Used without limits, antibiotics will stop being effective. More than that, the overuse will help bacteria develop resistance so that antibiotics won’t have any effect upon them anymore.
It is the case of a superbug recently discovered in China, which is a strain of e.coli. Besides being resistant to any known antibiotic, the superbug also has the power of infecting other bacteria, giving them the same defense system.
The superbug has first been identified in a pig and then in raw pork meat. After that, a number of people fell sick because of it. Despite efforts to isolate the bug, a few days ago it has been found in a Danish man who had never left Denmark. Germany came next and then Malaysia.
This super-bacteria can cause blood and urinary infections and also gut, having the ability of even making some of them incurable. And it is immune to all known antibiotics.
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