Antibiotics and the Meat Industry

The “Danish Experiment” is a source of pride for that country’s 17,000 farmers. Unlike industrial farms in the U.S., which use antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease, farmers in Denmark use antibiotics sparingly — only when animals are sick. The experiment to stop widespread use of antibiotics was launched 12 years ago, when European studies showed a link between animals who were consuming antibiotic feed every day and people developing antibiotic resistant infections from handling or eating that meat. Since the ban, the Danish pork industry has grown by 43 percent — making it one of the top exporters of pork in the world. All of Europe followed suit in 2006. But the American Pork Industry doesn’t want to, as it raises the cost of producing pork by $5 more for every 100 pounds of pork brought to market.

Did you know that about 70 percent of all the antibiotics produced are used in agriculture, to promote weight gain in the livestock?

This is a major issue, with significant human health ramifications.

This is actually one of the driving forces behind the alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, which kills more Americans than AIDS does each year.

Outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections such as MRSA opened discussions focused largely on reducing medical over-use of antibiotics and proper hygiene to reduce the spread of infectious disease. But little has been said about the rampant over-use of antibiotics in agriculture, which is likely the largest source of human antibiotic consumption, and hence increased antibiotic resistance.

Some of my (Dr Mercola) readers have criticized my recommendations to continue eating meats as they’re an excellent source of essential proteins, completely forgetting that I ONLY recommend organic, grass-fed, free-range meats. And they really cannot be compared to conventionally farmed meats in terms of quality and nutritional content.

So, please, understand that any time I (Dr Mercola) discuss meat consumption, it is with the explicit understanding that I only promote humanely raised, organically farmed livestock that have roamed free, feeding on their natural food source, without any use of antibiotics and other growth-promoting drugs typically used in conventional farming.

Source: Dr Mercola Newsletter

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