Rebecca Terk and I are racing to post first: check for her commentary as well!
The Obama Administration appears to understand that Heinz 57 is better on steak than streptogramins: The Food and Drug Administration has formally declared that it opposes the non-therapeutic use of seven main antibiotics for livestock. We've seen huge growth in the amount of antibiotics dumped into livestock feed, not to cure any diseases they have, but just to promote growth and to keep them from getting sick in the unnatural, unsanitary conditions of crowded feedlots. And as we all know, when you dump more antibiotics into any system, you promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Get rid of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics, and the CAFO business model doesn't work. Stock growers would have to give their critters more room to roam.
I'm liking this.
Now this new FDA "principle" hasn't taken any hard policy form yet. On the possible downside, it includes the idea of ending over-the-counter sales and requiring prescriptions from a veterinarian for antibiotics. That could raise costs in a way that will hit small producers harder than large producers. But those costs may be outweighed by the overall benefits to promoting smaller concentrations of livestock and getting more antibiotics out of everyone's systems, man and beast.
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