Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Anectodal Antibiotics---Be Careful!

Today's hot topic: preventative antibiotic use in beef production. The article below, written by an educated person, is purely ANECDOTAL. Notice, that despite having huge amounts of research to access, he only quotes recommendations. He argues that antibiotic use in animals contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans,WITHOUT citing one iota of evidence. He doesn't show trials, or half-lives of compounds (the rate at which they break down), or cite cases where direct links were shown between human antibiotic resistance related to the dietary intake of certain food stuffs. (Similar anecdotal evidence is offered in other places about organic produce being better for you than other produce. In fact, research shows that just eating 9 fruits and vegetables a day is effective, no matter how the plants were treated.)


Mind you, I'm no cattle producer, but I associate with them on a daily basis. We talk production methods, medication, free-range, organic, natural, feed additives, and calving crop percentages. We look at data on mineral intake, protein levels in forages, and water quality. We talk about work loads and moisture, market prices, golf, and, GASP, the preventive use of antibiotics AND other organic compounds that help mediate things that lurk in moist soil such as coccidiosis and salmonella (bugs that wreck the gut and can kill calves, especially if spring weather turns ugly).

I was trained in the scientific method.I expect the same of any college graduate, especially anyone who claims a wide,influential audience. I expect references to white papers, data, and peer-reviewed citations. I do not expect the kind of language that is classified otherwise as "old wives tales" by a simple statement, "that's bad for you."

In yesterday's blog, I passed along research from a peer-reviewed journal, that showed how cattle are helping the atmosphere. Contrary to popular hysteria, the paper said, in effect, "please keep them grazing, we need them to regulate other harmful gases." I'm not pro-cattle per se, but rather, pro-let's-get-it-right.

So, for those of you, like me, who like to see the evidence, I dug up a white paper that talks about the trials and tests that allow preventative levels of antibiotics work SAFELY in cattle feedstuffs.


Remember, we're still fortunate to be citizens of a country that has the largest and safest food supply on the planet. We not only feed ourselves, but the world.

Perhaps advocates of an antibiotic-free world should talk to their doctor about not hyper-dosing children who have ear-infections. Take the stance of being proactive with bacteria: use plain soap, eat more probiotic foods,play in the dirt, get rid of antibacterial soaps, lotions, and cleaning products and let the body build it's own fighting machine.

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