Judge Orders FDA to Do it’s Job Stop Antibiotics in Food Animals
A threat to the economy and to the health of Americans is on trial and so is the FDA on the topic of antibiotic use in cattle used for human food consumption. The ruling strikes back at the FDA for not inspecting, regulating and enforcing safety standards in food production facilities. Large scale farming is free to operate in such a manner as to ignore the harm of antibiotics in human consumption while gearing towards higher profit margins, the wrong tactic.Last year a new health bill gave FDA more power, to shut down factory farms, but obviously they are not doing their job. #FDA More Power
Over 80% of the cattle grown in the US have been given antibiotics
In a rare moment, a US District Judge Theodore Katz, admonished the FDA for not doing it’s mandated job to protect Americans from the over use of antibiotics in US farms.
The lawsuit, Number: 11-3562 was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Union of Concerned Scientists in the NY federal Court last May, 2011.
The groups cited examples of how the rampant use of antibiotics in 80% of cattle is costing 20 billion dollars per year to the economy.
Judge Katz went on to say:
** “The FDA has not issued a single statement since the issuance of the 1977 (notices) that undermines the original findings that the drugs have not been shown to be safe,” MSNBC quote
In the use of antibiotics the drug companies make tremendous profits by selling drugs to farms, mostly the big factory farms and industrialized farm businesses.
The judge also ruled that if the FDA does not produce evidence that the antibiotic use is safe, they must withdraw approval for non-therapeutic uses of the drug. In his decision Judge Katz wrote:
“”In the intervening years, the scientific evidence of the risks to human health from the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock has grown, and there is no evidence that the FDA has changed its position that such uses are not shown to be safe,” end quote MSNBC (see below) *
The Science on Antibiotics:
For decades there has been reports of the overuse of antibiotics in animals that are not sick, and it reflects the over use of drugs in the population.
The use of antibiotics in animals is now at 80% which is extremely high and the end result is bacteria that becomes resistant to antibiotics. Animals that are noted not to be sick are given antibiotic drugs. Ultimately due to the high bacteria counts in factory farms, the bacteria become resistant to the drugs which is ultimately a waste of money.
Heavy Antibiotic Use since 1946 in Farm Animals
Drug companies have for decades induced factory farms to use antibiotics to grow animals faster and become fatter, which ultimately increases profits. However, the adverse effects on the population. Antibiotics are used for cattle, pigs and chickens for the reason of higher profits. The reason being is the large factory farms are unsanitary and subject to larger amounts of bacteria as a result of their size and neglect of safety standards in their operations. The antibiotics make their way into cow’s milk, chicken eggs and any product that is produced by these farm animals.
Antibiotics in Food Increases Healthcare Costs
In a nation that has 320 million people the heavy use of antibiotics is costing more in healthcare costs with a sickened population that is consuming way too many drugs in their food. The cracks are beginning to show in the way factory farms operate, from pink slime to salmonella eggs the bacteria in these two cases was caused by poor sanitary conditions which was allowed by the FDA and USDA.
ie) Wright County Egg and Beef Products Inc. These two massive producers of food either has poor quality standards or in the latter case used refuse as food.
What must be Done:
Write to the FDA and demand Better Quality -less use of Antibiotics in the food supply.
In 2006, the European Union is way ahead of the FDA and has banned the use of antibiotics for growing animals faster. That was six years ago. The US has been allowing heavy use of antibiotics in 80% of animals produced for human food which is a disastrous example of how much antibiotics are used today.
The FDA must enforce strict rules in the use of antibiotics only for sick animals not the whole herd and it must do the job mandated to perform, keep the food supply safe.
Sadly, the FDA has not protected the nations food, and has allowed the rampant use of antibiotics in all animals which is unsustainable. In fact, by favoring this factory farm policy it has purposefully and routinely shut down organic farmers instead. The priorities of food production is to provide wholesome, healthy food for Americans not drugged up, artificially grown animals that ultimately will harm human health.
What Consumers Can Do:
Consumers have the power to force change by boycotting stores that carry these products and when they have the knowledge of what is in their food. All uses of drugs, including antibiotics must be labeled and thereby offering a choice to consumers to purchase food with antibiotics or other harmful drugs.
1) Avoid buying food in large, big box stores, national chain stores who routinely buy these products.
2) Buy locally from organic farms that use sustainable farming methods without the use of antibiotics, drugs or non-standard farming methods.
3) Look for “grass Fed” or “Certified Organic” labels on food and inquire at stores where these products come from before they are sold.
4) Find local farmers, farmers markets in your city or town and buy directly from your local food producers.
5) Buy a freezer, buy bulk and stock your home with local foods which saves time and money and provides a healthier supply of food.
6) Tell your grocery store you will not buy food with antibiotics, drugs or from factory farms, and get involved in real food sustainability groups, and become a food activist to start the changes in quality of your food.
For more information on this topic the
Union of Concerned Scientists have more information here:
Antibiotics in dept- FDA on The Overuse of Antibiotics in Farms
What Are Antibiotics in the Food Industry
Sustainable Table- What are Antibiotics?
Quote: “Over-prescribing antibiotics for viral-caused conditions like the flu or common cold, against which antibiotics are useless, contributes to antibiotic resistance. As the American Academy of Pediatrics notes, “When antibiotics aren’t used the right way, they can do more harm than good.”
UCUSA – Market Forces- Creating Jobs through Public Investment in Local and Regional Food Systems
Quote: “But locally grown food is not only good for your taste buds—it creates jobs, keeps money in local economies, promotes community development, and can reduce the environmental and public health costs of the food we eat.”
Buying from local farms increases jobs, helps the economy and raises the quality of food back to healthy standards. Buying from your local farmer keeps them in business and fosters the growth of local jobs.
Wired: Breaking News: Judge Orders FDA to Examine Safety of AG Drugs
Daily Kos: Huge! Federal Judge Orders FDA to Cut Antibiotics From Animal Feed
* MSNBC Today Health: Judge: FDA Must Act to Cut Antibiotics from Animal Feed
Books on the topic:
Modern Meat by Orville Shell
Fast Food Nation
Food Inc The Movie
[easyazon-image asin="0394729196" alt="Modern Meat" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rJvX0mOxL.jpg" align="center" width="220" height="385"]