The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths Of All Antibiotics

Will our taste for flesh be what leads to the creation of super-strains of bacteria impervious to antibiotics? Mother Jones reports:

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a set of voluntary “guidelines” designed to nudge the meat industry to curb its antibiotics habit. But the meat industry has been merrily gorging away on antibiotics—and churning out meat rife with antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

While human antibiotic use has leveled off at below 8 billion pounds annually, livestock farms have been sucking in more and more of the drugs each year—and consumption reached a record nearly 29.9 billion pounds in 2011. That suggests that meat production might be getting more antibiotic-intensive.  To put it another way, the livestock industry is now consuming nearly four-fifths of the antibiotics used in the US, and its appetite for them is growing.


14 Comments on "The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths Of All Antibiotics"

  1. Earth Star | Feb 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

    I think that was supposed to be pounds in the millions, not billions. No less concerned tho. That’s still a lot of shit in our food.

  2. This is why the market that I manage features only beef from Painted Hills. No antibiotics, no feed lots, no hormones. But as long as people vote with their dollar by shopping for cheaper beef at the big chains we will still have antibiotics and other things undermining our health. Similarly I have gotten many people to leave Aspartame and High Fructose Genetically Modified Corn Syrup out of their diets and many, including myself, have done away with our Acid Reflux Disease by doing the latter.

    But again as long as we vote for these things by purchasing them we are sending a clear message that these things are acceptable to us, otherwise why do we buy and consume them? We send one message through the internet and protests but send a completely contradictory message through our wallets and purses.

    Something to think about.

    • BuzzCoastin | Feb 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm |

      right now
      there is a high demand for chemical free foods
      and a limited supply

      • True Buzz, but it is truly staggering to me how many people have no clue as to what they are consuming.

        Still more amazing are the people who belly-ache on the internet and then go try to save a few cents at the Safeway meat department. However to be fair there are many areas where you just cannot get the choice. Mississippi was one of those places, since if it is there it is only there because it was shipped there.

        I am now in Washington State and they say that the middle of the country is about ten years behind the coasts. That may be true in the North but south of the Mason-Dixon line I would say it is more like 30 to 50 years behind the coasts. Of course everyone has the new model cars and fridges and such but as far as trends generated by people – not corporate ads – I sometimes wonder if the folks in the south will live long enough to learn and make changes that they need.

        We just brought in raw milk to our store, funny thing is on the east coast raw milk producers are getting shut down right and left. I fear for my brand new grandson’s future.

        • BuzzCoastin | Feb 14, 2013 at 3:06 am |

          The herd is going to stay put until the Herd System collapses.

          Your efforts offer a hub of transition
          for those pioneering the return to horticultural food production
          and those looking for chemical free foods.

        • BuzzCoastin | Feb 14, 2013 at 3:06 am |

          The herd is going to stay put until the Herd System collapses.

          Your efforts offer a hub of transition
          for those pioneering the return to horticultural food production
          and those looking for chemical free foods.

          • go vegan!

          • Buzz,

            I’m just getting started. Working on relocating to Thailand within the year. The goal is first to secure a retirement and second enough money to start a school for sustainable living. Organic farming of course but I want to generate my own power, methane recovery for fuel gas, our own water/rain recovery systems, Earth-bag homes and buildings. I already have a couple of Universities interested and a Federal Agency is willing to give me high school students and grants – but I need to get some land first, therefore Thailand.


          • BuzzCoastin | Feb 15, 2013 at 3:10 am |

            Thailand is my favorite country in the whirled;
            I’ve spent about a year there, off an on for the last 6.

            My suggestion would be to check out the Vangviang Organic Farm, Laos
            I was there about a year ago and they need help and direction, might still. It’s an ideal place to do this, some of it’s done already, just needs buffing and a leader with a new vision.

            Lao people and Thai people are cousins; it’s even more chill than Thailand.

            Also might check out the Akha tribe near Chiang Rai Thailand
            the dude that runs the place is an Akha Shaman & an innovator
            his dad, the village chief, sold me pot from a hat that had a Police logo on it.


          • Thanks man, will check into that.

            Roommate’s little brother just graduated there and has formed a corp with his buddy. His buddy is a national and well connected. We’ll be exporting hardwoods from the valleys where they are building the damns. Just waiting for a job and I am off.

            We also are working with some coffee from Laos and rubber trees. Did you know you have to smoke a rubber tree after you cut them or they will decompose? Imagine the irony, I live in Washington State and as soon as we start calling it a recreational drug I have to learn how to smoke rubber.

            Just heard tonight that we may be opening a school to teach English, and I think that would be fun. Great way to get to know people too.

            But we have been talking about the food thing since the industrial folks have shown up there already. So the farm is something that would fit right in.

            Thanks again.

        • It’s gotten to the point that athletes are failing drug tests because of the drugs being forced into factory farm animals. In fact, the Chinese Women’s Volleyball team went vegetarian just before the London Olympics because of this fear. (Though the newly implemented high carb diet doomed them.)

          Here’s a link to the USDA “Food Desert” locator map, which shows lack of food diversity by Census Tracts. As you suggest, the middle of the country and the South do indeed suffer.

          • Nice chart, thanks. Will share that with the owner of the store. He will love it.

            These days you have to educate yourself about what you eat or you might as well just go for the rat poison and get it over with. Oh, I forgot, fluoridated water = same active ingredient. Somebody pass me that blue pill, maybe it will work retroactively.

  3. BuzzCoastin | Feb 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm |

    Vegan farming philosophy
    is modern petrochemical industrial farming
    it’s rules eliminate the use of animals
    thereby eliminating natural fertilizers,
    animal powered labor & biodiversity

    Veganism is a philosophy
    it’s not a sustainable way to grow food

  4. We, people, are being turned into Genetically Modified humans with the food that we eat.
    We will soon be mutants!

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