Friday, April 13, 2012

FDA wants to limit antibiotics given to animals!

The modern food industry has changed drastically from the days of our grandparents. Today, food is produced much like other assembly line culture. Whereas in the past animals were raised and butchered on family farms, today most animals are confined to CAFO's, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Populations. This confinement allows the food industry to produce very large cows, chickens, turkeys, etc. Larger animals equal bigger profits for the industry. Also, the feeding operations allow the animals to grow to enormous sizes in a very, very short period of time!

But what happens when all of these animals are herded together? Think of a bunch of kids in a classroom. It seems that when one child gets a cold or becomes sick, all of his/her classmates follow. So how is it possible that animals in CAFO's are able to stay disease free? The answer is pharmaceutical drugs...particularly antibiotics. Many animals in CAFO's are pumped full of antibiotics (not to mention other drugs such as hormones). This allows the animals to grow to their huge sizes with little disease.

So now you have a food environment where the products being sold at grocery stores come from a highly medicated population of animals. Ask yourself a question...What keeps all of these antibiotics (and hormones, etc.) given to the animals from affecting me since I eat them? This question is the reason that the FDA is looking to further regulate antibiotics given to animals.

Scientists say that the use of antibiotics in food production has led to the dramatic increase in dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria. This has become a major problem in the United States healthcare industry the past couple of decades. The reason why changing the antibiotic culture in food production is difficult is that the food industry has so much power and they argue the antibiotics are necessary in the modern production of food.

Taking away antibiotics will certainly raise the cost of some foods. However, there will be drastic healthcare savings later because individuals will not be negatively effected by the current practices of the industry. People need to educate themselves about food production so that they can make proper choices on how to shop for food. Education allows individuals to make choices that will positively impact their health for years to come.

If you would like to read more about the FDA's approval, you can check out this article from The Associated Press:

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