A growing and dangerous trend of antibiotic resistance among humans that has been traced in part to the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed led several health and consumer organizations to sue the U.S. government Wednesday.
the FDA concluded in 1977 that feeding animals low doses of certain antibiotics could promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could infect people, but failed to act to curb their use. As a result, it said, about 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are now used in livestock to promote faster animal growth on less feed, to treat sick animals and to prevent diseases that occur when animals are kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions.
Antibiotics are added to feed or water for pigs, cows, chickens and turkeys at levels too low to treat disease, enabling bacteria to survive in a form stronger and more resistant to medical treatment.
Accumulating evidence shows that antibiotics are becoming less effective, while our grocery store meat is increasingly laden with drug-resistant bacteria.