Leah Zerbe at Rodale reports on the dangerous side effects of doctors over prescribing antibiotics and their use in factory farming:
The World Health Organization recently said resistance to antibiotics might be the end of modern medicine; people could die after routine operations or when a simple scrape on the knee becomes infected.
In fact, we're already seeing all sorts of antibiotic-resistant infections claim lives and strain the healthcare system. The most common, MRSA, alone kills about 18,000 people a year in the United States—that's more than AIDS. Gonorrhea is also on the verge of being untreatable, and many common antibiotics no longer cure urinary tract infections.
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) has reintroduced to Congress the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which aims to reduce the use of human antibiotics in animals. It is estimated that 80% of the antibiotics used in the US go to animal agriculture.
Basically, factory farms are unsanitary, so the animals may get sick unless they are pumped full of antibiotics. This legislation would not only help keep antibiotics working better for humans, but would also encourage factory farmers to create more sanitary conditions for the animals.