This problem has been coming and going for a while. For want of a small item, hospitals and clinics are brought to their knees.
Yesterday, we finished our discussion of fish- and how what we buy (actually who grows them) is increasing antibiotic resistance. After all, if we keep feeding fish a slew of antibiotics, it shouldn’t be surprising that more microbes learn how to fight off our pharmaceutical defenses.
So, now we’re ready. We already know that we are buying and eating the delectable offerings of Chinese shrimp and catfish. Even if they try to claim they are Malaysian or even American.( What? You haven’t read Monday’s or Tuesday’s post? )
I’ve written often (here and here, just for starters) how we have not developed new methods to eradicate infections from our bodies. We use microbes to fatten our animals- cattle, chicken, etc.- because we’ve learned that putting antibiotics in animal feed not only keeps many infections at bay- even if they are not ready to invade the livestock- but feeding the antibiotics makes the animals gain weight- fast. Which cuts the amount of time farmers and ranchers need to maintain the animals before they are slaughtered for our food.
I’ve written about the practice of feeding antibiotics to our animals. And, why that puts our overall health at risk. After all, if we feed the same antibiotics to animals that we use for disease control, microbial resistance is bound to accelerate. First, because the animals will harbor microbes that get a chance to mutate and those resistant microbes can be transferred to humans via our food. Moreover, the antibiotics we feed our animals often end up in our waterways, which provides yet another process where the microbes can develop resistance to our critical drugs.