Tags: antibiotics | food | health | hazard | antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics in Food: A Common Reason for Health Hazards

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 10:01 PM

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that antibiotic resistance in humans is growing rapidly, causing serious health hazards. One of the reasons for antibiotic resistance is the overuse of antibiotics on food animals.
 
The CDC supports the use of safe antibiotics in the right dose when the animal is sick. But the CDC does not recommend antibiotic overuse, subtherapeutic dosage, and antibiotic misuse for commercial gains. Subtherapeutic doses kill some of the bacteria, but the surviving bacteria develop mutations and become resistant when that antibiotic is administered again. Even antibiotic overuse can lead to antibiotic resistance in animals, ultimately entering human food and causing serious health hazards.

Animals can pass the antibiotics from their systems before they are slaughtered, but the surviving bacteria that have become antibiotic-resistant pass on to the human food and pose health hazards. These antibiotic-resistant animal bacteria are the main reason behind antibiotic resistance in humans.

Usually, nonvegetarian food is the cause of antibiotic resistance because the sick animals are treated with antibiotics. But the increasing use of antimicrobial chemicals in agriculture is also causing such type of health hazards.
 
Another factor behind antibiotics resistance in humans is antibiotic overuse in health care facilities. A World Health Organization report confirms that overuse of antibiotics for even minor illness and misuse of antibiotics lead to drug resistance in humans.
 
Some instances of antibiotic-resistant salmonella bacteria that are causing drug-resistant typhoid fever in humans have been reported. Similarly, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA bacteria, enters the human body through animal food and poses a serious health hazard. This bacterial infection can damage the vital organs in humans by releasing toxins unresponsive to any antibiotics.
 
In the U.S., you can buy meat labeled “USDA-certified organic,” “no–antibiotic,” or “raised without antibiotics.” A healthy choice, certified meat avoids this health hazard in your family.

Agencies such as the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, the Center of Science in Public Interest, and the Union of Concerned Scientists are working in the field of antibiotic resistance in humans and recommend clear-cut strategies of safe use of antibiotics in animals to avoid serious health hazards.  

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Antibiotics in food are posing serious health hazards and antibiotic resistance. The main reason is overuse and misuse of antibiotics in animals. There is a strong need of safeguarding ourselves from this health hazard.
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Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 10:01 PM
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