Murray and Murray's Viewpoint:
We find ourselves at the crossroads between misguided American medicine and a misguided FDA. We allow for the use of too much antibiotics. The agribusiness has been saving money on livestock in the short run, but we will all be seeing cost of this policy in our health care costs as we encounter the long term effects.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria-often called "superbugs"-are entering the nation's food system and endangering consumers at an alarming rate, according to researchers who analyzed data from the federal government.
The Environmental Working Group said Monday that it had parsed studies from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System published in February.
"I think this is one of the greatest threats to us as a nation and the planet," said Lance B. Price, a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University who helped review the government information for EWG.
"These bacteria are finding ways to get around antibiotics in animals, and it's similar to what's going on with the bacteria that's resistant in humans. They go hand in hand and it's a very under appreciated as a threat," Price said.
The group found that NARMS had reported-but had not highlighted-that antibiotic resistant bacteria was turning up in 81 percent of raw ground turkey, 69 percent of raw pork chops, 55 percent of raw ground beef and 39 percent of raw chicken bought over the counter in 2011.
The rate of occurrence in salmonella superbug strains in chicken rose from 50 percent in 2002 to 74 percent in 2011.
Nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics were administered to livestock in 2011, according to EWG, a 22 rise from 2005. Antibiotics used on food-producing animals account for nearly 80 percent of the total market for such drugs in the U.S., according to the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming.
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