Friday, April 13, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
Part Two of The Current
Antibiotics in Livestock - American Veterinary Medical Association
Antibiotics were the 20th century farmer's best friend. By using them, livestock grew more quickly, and that meant higher profits in less time. But by the 1970s, public health officials began to worry about overuse.
The antibiotics became less effective as bacteria grew immune to the drugs. It became a human health crisis when these resistant strains began infecting humans. It's estimated almost a hundred thousand people die every year from infections cause by these superbugs.
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, announced new guidelines intended to curb the use of antibiotics in livestock. Doctor Christine Hoang is with the American Veterinary Medical Association and has been working with the FDA on this issue. We reached her in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Antibiotics in Livestock - Veterinarians Without Borders
A little more than a year ago, Erica Johnson, co-host on CBC Television's Marketplace, filed a report on antibiotic resistance in Canadian food production that raised a few eyebrows and turned a few stomachs.
Health Canada says antibiotics are added to the feed of food-producing animals for three reasons: to promote growth, to increase feed efficiency and to prevent infections. Ottawa is now funding research to test ways farmers can cut down on the use of antibiotics in livestock without reducing production.
And Health Canada says it is currently reassessing those antimicrobial drug products that make growth promotion claims. Still, there are those who say we should be going further.
Enid Stiles is the incoming president of Veterinarians Without Borders. She was in Montreal.
Antibiotics in Livestock - Canadian Pork Council
This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson, Chris Wodskou and Pacinthe Mattar.
Other segments from today's show: