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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the American meat supply

FoodFacts.com stays as up-to-date as possible regarding the issues that we face in our food supply. Whether it’s product recalls, toxic heavy metals, or any other contaminant, we want to make sure that our community is well-informed about any of the variety of dangers lurking in our foods.

Today we read a fascinating article that raises questions regarding the safety of our meats. A large proportion of American meat is contaminated with superbugs – antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of recently released government tests.

The latest federal report published last year found that 81 percent of ground turkey, 55 percent of ground beef and 39 percent of chicken parts were contaminated with antibiotic-resistant microbes. These are the germs that are responsible for countless numbers of cases of infection and food poisoning. The ability these germs have acquired to resist antibiotics make the illnesses they are responsible for more difficult to treat and, in some cases, those illnesses are lethal.

Experts attribute the development of antibiotic-resistant microbes to the extensive overuse of antibiotics in livestock farming. Meat producers regularly give their livestock antibiotics to promote growth or to treat infections. It is thought that about 80% of pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S. are sold specifically for meat production.

The FDA can help to stop the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs by stopping the overuse of these pharmaceuticals. In addition, the overcrowding of livestock has an adverse affect on animal health. The need for excessive antibiotics could be reversed by allowing for increased space for livestock on farms. These efforts could have a great affect on the existence of antibiotic-resistant germs in our meat supply.

It has been shown that there are strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria that have jumped from animals to humans, making the findings of this recent study even more concerning.

FoodFacts.com will continue to follow information on this important story as it develops. As always, we will keep our community informed and educated on the issues they face daily regarding the safety of our food supply.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/259206.php

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