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.