Cutting the Number of Crabbing Licenses to Save the Blue Crab
Medication for High Blood Pressure from the Chesapeake Bay

Banning Antibiotics in Livestock Feed

Pigs Does Ms. Piggie have a drug problem?  Is it time for her to go cold turkey?

The Obama administration is trying to ban the routine use of antibiotics in pig, chicken and livestock feed.

Do you agree or disagree with this proposal?  It could potentially affect animal feeding operations and runoff in Pennsylvania, Maryland and elsewhere in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Advocates of such a ban, including Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the administration’s principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs (and until recently, Baltimore’s health commissioner) argue that feeding antibiotics to livestock to enhance their growth can also promote the growth of potentially dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. More importantly, these scientists assert, using antibiotics in farm animals weakens the drugs so they won’t be as effective when doctors really need them to protect the lives of humans.

On the other side of the debate, some farming groups – notably, the National Pork Producers Council – say there is no good evidence that any antibiotic-resistant diseases in the human population have come from agriculture.  And they argue that restricting antibiotics could hurt the health of pigs and other farm animals and raise the price of meat.

A hearing on the proposal was held on Monday by the U.S. House Rules Committee.  The New York Times reports that the move “would ban seven classes of antibiotics important to human health from being used in animals, and would restrict other antibiotics to therapeutic and some preventive uses."

The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that more than two thirds of antibiotics used in the United States is given to healthy chickens, pigs and cattle to encourage their growth or to prevent illnesses.

To learn more, click here.



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I put a link to this Bay Daily article on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Facebook page, and got responses from 23 readers.

I asked: Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with the proposal to ban the routine use of antibiotics in farm animal feed.


* AGREE!!!

* AGREE! It's a bit short-sighted to have preventative antibiotics in feed.


* Absolutely agree!

* Of course!

* It's about time

* YES YES YES!!!!!

* Whoop!

* I think updating the waste treatment plants from the 30's would be more important!

* Agree. Ban their routine use and require living conditions for livestock which would promote health rather than sickness.

* Speaking as someone who studied bio engineering and works in QC in a mill that makes animal feed for livestock. I think the lack of education on this whole subject is appalling and the tripe that is bought into is unreal. This feed is generally a starter or only used if necessary. would you feed your cow something that cost $56 lb every day. Not a ton, a lb. The amount of medication that goes into feed is a trace amount compared to what you take and piss down the toilet and then not finish the entire course because your too flustered about animal living conditions to remember your meds. Try worrying or restricting the "socialized meds" that are brought over by the truckloads from Canada or Mexico Farmers are over regulated as is and their animals are too important to them to be misstreated. And yes I lived by a hog farm in NE, a dairy, a poultry farm. I know how they operate. EDUCATE YOURSELVES. Thank God for the safe products you have or go live in South East Asia for awhile.

* Disagree. CBF has lots more important things to worry about

* This is ridiculous. As previously explained, people don't have their facts and like to jump on the "Corporations are bad/antibiotics are bad/etc." train without first taking a look at the facts from an unbiased party. I encourage everyone to research the antibiotics issue for themselves (and not from either) before jumping to conclusions...

* As for the Chesapeake Bay, I'm all for it, but it seems to be a tangential issue in this instance. Even if reducing antibiotics would help the Bay, the negatives of the decision far outweigh the positives.

* I agree. I believe the positives far outweigh the negatives. There was a multi-year year study just released in the past couple of years that tested water all over the world. In all samples there were detections of hormones and anti-biotics, which are not screened out in our water treatment plants because of high costs, and we simply don't have the technology to do it. And we have no idea what happens when we mix all these compounds together, so banning the use of antibiotics in feeds will not only help our water but it will help us. It won't take care of all of it, but it will help. Read about all the recent frog studies and edocrine disruptors.

* Agree. medications should only be dosed AS NEEDED.

* Agree wholeheartedly

* Banning routine use of antibiotics would be great!

* Fully, fully agree!

* So what constitutes "routine"and who are you going to allow to dictate to you what's "needed". I'm telling you folks, your busy looking at the saplings when the forest is burning around you. First its the animals next its your children. Quit buying into the stupidity. If Obama gets his way with his next "stimulus package" our dollar is going to be so deflated a bucket load of it won't buy you a loaf of bread and you won't have a job to worry about, CBF is in for a storm the likes of which it's never seen. Save your crabs, I love the bay, they may be the only thing you have to feed your families if you don't WAKE UP ZOMBIES. This is exactly how China reined their people in in the fourties. Learn from history. This country is being destroyed and no one gets it.

* My, my. Pick one rant and stick with it, please. The dollar is actually forecast to get stronger in the money markets over the next few years.

* Are you suggesting that by restricting the use of pre-emptive antibiotics in animals, that this will mean restricting the pre-emptive dosing of childrens' food? Where does that happen? I'm in the dark about the thrust of your argument. In any case, I do agree about certain things. The excretions of humans and the drugs therein are indeed affecting the environment. For example, the excreted hormones from widespread use of the Pill appear to be doing peculiar things to fish. By extension, wouldn't it be a good idea to cut back on pre-medication wherever possible? Perhaps practice better hygiene in livestock rearing, rather than dose them up?

* I think that we are what we eat. I know that it has been found that humans taking excessive antibiotics can cause resistant strains. What really qualifies as excessive? If antibiotic use in farm animals is at a similar level of excessive then why would it not have the same effect on them? And why wouldn't that be harmful for us? Especially if it is given in low dosages, because from my understanding it is not just frequency of use, but whether dosing is enough to be effective.

* I also think that it is important to be informed before forming an opinion, but just because someone isn't looking at things the same way that you are doesn't mean you should rant at them and talk down to them. There wasn't any information provided for you to know the extent to which people had educated themselves on the topic. Calling people zombies will not convince others to listen to your point of view. You will hear from people who already agree with you, you will not change minds.

* The thrust of my argument is that if you don't think the average farmer is intelligent enough to control his finances and give a sick animal REALLY expensive feed when it is sick without a prescription or a mandate from the federal government, you haven't begun to see where your food prices are going to go. Add a couple vet bills to that steak, or dozen eggs. Why do we need the government to mandate everything we do. If big brother has to tell us whether or not we can treat our animals, there will be an automatic assumption that we are not competent enough to handle our own medical decisions, and some aren't if they're abusing antibiots from across border. Stop the socialist mandates. Medicated feed is a dosage of about one lb per ton, it is not a "standard" feed. Farmers don't want their animals developing resistance to disease any more than we do. Medicated feeds are run and flushed with a full ton of bran which is incinerated after. It is already regulated to death.

* If you really disagree and want to effect change, buy organic meats, you'll pay more buy that's the beauty of supply and demand. Also animals are blood tested and not used until all traces of medication are gone from their systems.

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