The apocalyptic consequences of antibiotic resistance

Fiona Harvey’s headline in The Guardian doesn’t actually get to the truth of the story. The headline should probably include the words “apocalyptic consequences”.

The Guardian

As Fiona Harvey points out antibiotics are used to prevent disease in farmed animals. What she doesn’t mention is that antibiotics are also used, especially in the United States, because antibiotics make animals gain weight.

Overuse of antibiotics in farming has put us in an “apocalyptic” situation where “farms are becoming a greater reservoir for antibiotic resistant bacteria”. While I think a ban on the overuse of antibiotics in UK farming is needed it will make little or no difference if the US is not brought into line. “Antibiotic use in US farming is six times higher per livestock unit than in the UK… and cattle in particular receive 13 times as much antibiotic medicine as in the UK.”

You could also give serious thought to switching to a plant based diet. It is healthier, does less harm to the environment, and reduces our need to use antibiotics in farming.


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