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Animals May Pass Resistant Bacteria to Humans

January 02, 2008 | 2,191 views

Antibiotic resistant bacteria can be passed from farm animals to humans, according to a report released July 9 by the National Research Council. However, the Council concludes that the use of antibiotics in animal feed "does not appear to (constitute) an immediate public health concern," and calls for more research on the issue.

Low doses of antibiotics such as tetracycline and penicillin are routinely added to animal feed or water because they result in better growth and prevent infections that can occur when animals are raised in close contact. There have been cases in which resistant bacteria have been passed to people, according to the chairman of the Committee on Drug Use in Food Animals, which developed the report. The panel was formed at the request of the US Department of Agriculture, the Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration.

The use of antibiotics in food animals, as well as in human medicine, increases the chances that bacteria will become resistant to such drugs and therefore more difficult to treat when they cause disease, according to a summary of the report. This report acknowledges that there is a link between the use of antibiotics in food animals, the development of bacterial resistance to these drugs, and human disease, although the incidence of such disease is very low, the committee concluded. Those at greater risk include infants, the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, farm workers and people exposed to antibiotics in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals or animal feed. A ban could also raise the prices of meat, poultry, and fish by as much as an additional $9.72 per person per year. The National Research Council report is a landmark, because it is the first authoritative US report that explicitly acknowledges that agricultural uses of antibiotics pose a risk to the public health.

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

It's difficult to believe that to $10 per person per year could eliminate the antibiotics in the animal food. It's even more difficult to believe that these companies would damage our health for such a small sum. Antibiotics in the meats are only one of the reasons why you should obtain organic meat and poultry.

The hormones and pesticides are two other major concerns. These are the reasons that non meat eaters usually do better health wise than those who eat meat. They are able to avoid the chemicals and hormones. You should always try to find organic meat whenever possible. The meat you purchase at Whole Foods or Wild Oats is NOT organic. It is better than most, but the animals are fed grains that were sprayed with pesticides.

I am currently experimenting with having four RAW eggs every other day as a source of protein. It is my belief that the uncooked eggs are far healthier for you. If you are concerned about salmonella, my newsletter two weeks ago showed that in non-organic eggs the rate was one in 20,000 which works out to once every 32 years if you eat a dozen eggs a week.

My egg shake consists of a little raw honey, two to three tablespoons of ground up flax seed, a bit of cinnamon, a tablespoon of organic cold pressed sunflower oil and a tablespoon of electrolyte solution from Body Bio. It is delicious. I have that with two to three slices of rice bread with some home made preserves from the berries from a near-by source. It is an incredible breakfast.

One caution though is that if you decide to take this route, you may need to take some extra biotin as a supplement. Raw egg white may bind that up from your body and cause a deficiency.

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