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Expert Discussions on Antibiotic Use in Animals Agriculture

8 March 2012, at 10:09am

US - Today the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future will lead discussions among scientific experts on the inappropriate use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.

CSPI will release a white paper analysing 38 outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to pathogens that exhibited antibiotic resistance.

Last year, antibiotic-resistant pathogens on meat and poultry products sparked three major outbreaks, causing 167 reported illnesses and one death.

Emerging evidence also indicates that farmers, their families, and others who live and work near livestock and poultry farms are at increased risk of contracting resistant infections.

CSPI says that research has shown that the daily dosing of healthy food animals with antibiotics to promote growth (and prevent infection that could arise from unsanitary conditions) is a major reason for the rise in drug-resistant bacteria.

The group says that these bacteria can spread on farms, through air and water, and in food to infect humans. Current agricultural use of antibiotics contributes to the rising trend of antibiotic-resistance and the spread of superbugs that are harder and more expensive to treat.