Unreal Truths | Progressive Farmer Magazine Cover Story

Unreal Truths | Progressive Farmer Magazine June 2019

In a recent Progress Farmer Magazine cover story titled “Unreal Truths,” the article uncovers the fears of antimicrobial resistance that tend to motivate some consumers’ meat and poultry buying decisions. The main question throughout the article is, “Are those fears founded on fact or fiction?” This article touches on many questions about ¬†antimicrobial-resistent bacteria specifically to the livestock. Here are some takeaways:

Question:
Livestock producers decide when and how much antibiotic to give their animals.

Answer: FICTION
There is strict veterinary oversight of the use of antibiotics today, and producers are only allowed to treat an animal diagnosed with an illness to control the spread of an illness and, in some cases, to prevent disease when livestock are at risk because of stress.

Question:
Bacteria on meat and poultry, resistant or not, is destroyed through cooking.

Answer: FACT
Basic safe-handling practices in the kitchen, including hand washing and separating raw from ready-to-eat foods, along with thorough cooking, protects against bacteria.

Question:
Animals and humans rely on the same antibiotics.

Answer: FICTION
The majority of antibiotics are used either in people or animals, not both. Penicillin use in humans, for example, is 44 percent; in animals it’s six percent. Conversely, tetracycline use in 44 percent animal, four percent humans And, ionophores, common in animal production systems, are never used in human medicine.

Question:
There are no antimicrobial-resistant bacteria on organic farms.

Answer: FICTION
These bacteria are literally everywhere and have been been found in ice core samples millions of years old.

Question:
More resistant organisms are found in hospitals than on farms.

Answer: FACT
A 2013 CDC report said 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effect. The director of the CDC added, “The most resistant organisms in hospitals are emerging in those settings because of poor antimicrobial stewardship among humans.”

For more information about Progressive Farmer Magazine and to read this article from their site, click here.

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