Post 9 – Part 2 It’s only been over thirty years, but better late than never.

This his article Mark Bittman addresses the court ruling forcing the F.D.A. to finally announce it’s stance on if feeding antibiotics to livestock has a negative effect on humans. I followed a link to learn some more info.

I’ve learned that in the 1950s the FDA gave the go-ahead to give antibiotics to animals. In 1977 there was (details not mentioned) findings that the antibiotics may be dangerous to humans. So like the good FDA that they are, they started the motions to withdraw the approval. So what happened? It’s not a surprise. The big bad drug industry, members of congress, and some agricultural businesses began to pressure the FDA to reconsider. These groups fight for the right to fight disease in animals that people are eating. If only that’s all it was for. Promoting growth and scaring off infections from mistreatment is some other benefits.

The use of antibiotics in animals has increased from 17.8 million pounds per year in 1999 to 29.8 million pounds in 2009. Either there is more animal colds going around or there are some other motives. I’m surprised that the pro-antibiotics do not promote binge eating meat to uninsured people in order to rid themselves of an infection and avoid a visit to the doctor.

Bittman thinks that the FDA will just cave to the meat industry. It’s hard to disagree. It took a court, thirty-five years later, to force them to do the research and decide. The companies have a chance to fight for their side as well, but if the FDA decides that antibiotics are harmful then they are banned. I’m just going to continue in my nieve world and tell myself that the FDA wouldn’t let me eat anything that could harm me.

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