Deadlier than AIDS: Why Are Antibiotics Allowed to Continue in the U.S.?
Following a Lancet Infectious Diseases report of the spread of a new drug-resistant superbug spreading from south Asia, news agencies have reported "panic" over the germs' possible consequences.
Writing in the Guardian, for example, editor and columnist Sarah Boseley said:
“The era of antibiotics is coming to a close. In just a couple of generations, what once appeared to be miracle medicines have been beaten into ineffectiveness by the bacteria they were designed to knock out.”
The effectiveness of antibiotics depends on how antibiotics are used — how well drug use is managed in clinical practice and outside of it. But some 70 percent of American antibiotics — tens of millions of pounds of drugs each year — is used in animal feed.
According to Time Magazine:
“The European Union banned routine use of antibiotics in animal feed years ago because of evidence about its drug-resistance consequences for humans. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending the same for the U.S. as well, for the same reason. But for now the practice continues.”