Dec 12, 2013
CDC Sounds the Alarm on How Medicine and Agriculture Are Killing Us
Posted on Sep 19, 2013
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dives deeply into two factors that are causing the deaths of more than 23,000 people a year from drug-resistant bacteria: injudicious use of antibiotics in treating patients, and their pervasive role in agriculture.
The detailed report is here, but Wired magazine has done a good job summarizing the major elements in two pieces by Maryn McKenna, a journalist and author of “Superbugs,” among other works. According to her first article:
In agriculture, particularly the dosing of livestock, Frieden told reporters that the use of antibiotics in livestock has had a direct effect on increased illness among people.
“For the whole pathway, we need to address from farm to table,” Frieden said. “And that at various different steps, there are things that can be done to increase or decrease the likelihood of infections generally and resistant infections specifically. We also know that there are specific situations in which the widespread use of antimicrobials in agriculture has resulted in an increase in resistant infections in humans.”
Even more chilling: The CDC’s declaration that there is insufficient monitoring of drug-resistant illnesses, making it difficult to fully grasp the extent of the issue, and the damage. It called for better monitoring, better prevention through vaccinations and hospital practices, better food production and food handling, a more judicious use of antibiotics in both patients and agriculture, and designing better antibiotics and tests to more quickly deal with resistant organisms. According to the report:
—Posted by Scott Martelle.
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