photos: onex10/CC BY-ND 2.0
We've covered before the horrible consequences of constantly given factory farm animals antibiotics so they don't get sick in the sickening conditions we make them live. And recently the USDA commissioned a report reviewing the current research on antibiotics, antibiotic resistant infections and farm animals. The report was pretty damning of current industry practices, as Tom Philpott summarizes over at Mother Jones.
Perhaps even more disturbing, though, is that the document has since disappeared from the USDA website, apparently after the findings upset industry, and the report's author seems to have been prevented from talking to media.Have no fear, there's a cached version: A Focus on Antimicrobial Resistance.
I have to agree with Philpott's assessment of USDA's actions:
Government regulators know that serious trouble is brewing from antibiotic abuse on factory farms and seem incapable of acting to stop it. Dharmarha's heresies are not the first time a government-associated person has bluntly held forth on the topic. In 2009, Josh Sharfstein, then deputy commissioner of the FDA, delivered damning testimony before the US House of Representatives. He opined that routine use of antibiotics on farm animals should be severely restricted--banned outright for non-medical uses like growth promotion and used only "under the supervision of a veterinarian" to treat sicknesses.
More on Factory Farming
80% Of All US' Antibiotics Given To Farm Animals
More Factory Farming Means More Antibiotic-Resistant Urinary Tract Infections