Streams

Meat on Drugs

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration recently called for limiting the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, over concerns that the practice is leading to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Time magazine staff writer Bryan Walsh and Maryn McKenna, author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA, discuss the practice of putting antibiotics in animal feed, the public-health problems it poses, and the challenges the FDA faces in issuing stricter policies for reducing the practice.

Guests:

Maryn McKenna and Bryan Walsh

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Comments [13]

W. A. Robison from Natchitoches, LA

I really enjoy the show, but why does Leonard insist on keeping his affected pronunciation of "antibiotics" when all of his expert guests continue to pronounce it correctly. When did he first start saying anti-BEE-otics anyway?

Aug. 01 2010 10:08 PM
W. A. Robison from Natchitoches, LA

I really enjoy the show, but why does Leonard insist on keeping his affected pronunciation of "antibiotics" when all of his expert guests continue to pronounce it correctly. When did he first start saying anti-BEE-otics anyway?

Aug. 01 2010 10:07 PM
SUPERF**

Hi Lenny,
re antibiotics in the animals, i believe an important point has been skipped over here.

many companies claim that their chickens, for example, are "antibiotic free."

One would assume this to mean that such additives as antibiotics and steroids have never touched their animals. However, the bit of due diligence I have done on the subject quickly revealed a trick:

In post mortem tests of the animals, these chemicals were not detected in the flesh samples.

Unless explicit, animal meat marketers make zero guarantee that the animal hasn't grown up on antibiotics.

Big distinction here between meat that "is" antibiotic free, and the corresponding chicken that "was."

Jul. 21 2010 09:48 PM
Peg

What about that more and more people are living in overcrowded cities (factory farms for humans) these days? How does that contribute to spread of disease?

Jul. 21 2010 12:37 PM
Mary Ellen

Purely anecdotal: I am allergic to a long list of antibiotics and I have noticed that if I eat a lot of chicken I will get hives, which is the allergic reaction I get when taking some antibiotics.

Jul. 21 2010 12:29 PM
Sue from USA

If the practice of feeding poultry litter to cows was abolished, would there be a reduced need for antibiotics in these food animals?

Jul. 21 2010 12:27 PM
dogman

The American veterinary Medical Association has refused to adopt a policy caling for veterinarian participation in prerscriobing antiiotics to food animals. is isdue to the influenmce of the swine, cattle and ppoultry veterinarians who protect the interests of their cients over the interests of hhuman health..

AVMA has refused on at least two occasions to consider this proposal

Jul. 21 2010 12:26 PM
Vengie from Harlem

Seems like animals have access to cheaper drugs than we do!

Jul. 21 2010 12:22 PM
Norman from NYC

Louise Slaughter is a microbiologist?

Jul. 21 2010 12:20 PM
organic from Manhattan

25 million pounds of antibiotics are used in farming in the United States as compared with 3 million pounds used in human medicine.

Jul. 21 2010 12:14 PM
SRF from Manhattan

The Swann report published in 1969 called attention to this problem. Many European countries have banned antibiotic enhanced meat. What is America's problem? I am beginning to lose sympathy for people who are stricken by e.coli. When the American government begins to subsidize family farms and organic farms only then will we see change.

Jul. 21 2010 12:13 PM
Sally from UES

I know several people with allergies to penicillin. Has there been any studies on the effects of this meat on these people?

Also do these antibiotics give the animals any discomfort?

Jul. 21 2010 12:11 PM
Norman from NYC

A scientist who works on those agricultural antibiotics told me that the antibiotics used in animal feed are different from the antibiotics that are used against disease.

He said that even if bacteria get resistant to agricultural antibiotics, they won't become resistant to medical antibiotics.

I didn't believe him. But what's the evidence?

Jul. 21 2010 12:10 PM

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