Unsafe levels of antibiotics in our meat and dairy? Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our meat and poultry? You betcha!
According to various reports, about 80% of the antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals and put in their feed for the purpose of preventing disease brought about by administering massive doses of growth hormones, steroids and other drugs to these animals, feeding them the wrong foods, and keeping them in crowded, unsanitary and otherwise deplorable living conditions.
Why should we be worried?
Credible reports say that the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals (and consequent consumption by humans of those antibiotic residues as well as antibiotic resistant bacteria routinely found on retail meat) has led to the increasing and alarming emergence of "superbugs" that have a greater resistance to antibiotics.
The fallout from consuming antibiotics in our food: we are at a dangerous risk of getting a disease that will not be treatable with drugs. This is already happening in hospitals across the U.S.! (Related: "Nightmare Bacteria" in Your Diet)
How real is this threat?
In a letter to Congressional leaders, a broad coalition of prominent medical and public health groups has stated:
"Overuse and misuse of important antibiotics in food animals must end, in order to protect human health."
The Director General of the World Health Organization recently said:
"Things as common as strep throat or a child's scratched knee could once again kill ... A post-antibiotic ear means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it."
What has the FDA done to protect us and avert an impending health crisis?
This infographic entitled "How the FDA Has Failed to Protect You Against Antibiotic Abuse" examines the FDA's failure to address antibiotic use in livestock over the course of the past 35 years. It also illustrates the progress that has been made in Europe at the same time.
Things We Can Do:
As more people become aware of the real dangers lurking in our meat and dairy, they are becoming more proactive and taking matters of their health into their own hands: namely, significantly reducing consumption of meat, poultry and dairy products, or eliminating them altogether from their diet by adopting a plant-based diet.
Related: Drugs in Milk and Meat (Infographic)
NRDC: Saving Antibiotics: What You Need to Know About Antibiotics Abuse on Farms
Americans Under Threat from Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Consumer's Union: Antibiotic Resistance
Infographic Source: Natural Resources Defense Council