Underreported: Poultry Antibiotics May Not Be Effective

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An estimated 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are used on farms, mostly in animal feed. Health researchers have long worried that this heavy load of antibiotics is causing strains of bacteria to evolve that are impervious to the drugs. Plus, these resistant bacteria can pass on resistance to other bacteria and infect humans. Farmers have long justified using growth-promoting antibiotics on the grounds that fatter birds mean fatter profits. But a groundbreaking study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has undermined this argument. On today’s Underreported, Leonard speaks with Dr. Mary Pearl, President of Wildlife Trust, about this serious public health issue.