Official call to reduce antibiotics in farming as human resistance to antibiotics grows

It is estimated that globally 10 million people will die from antibiotic resistance per year by 2050 [1]. Today, in the US alone, 23,000 people die from antibiotic resistance annually and this number is increasing [2]. The Antimicrobial Review, commissioned by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, published its findings in May 2016 [1], found that overuse of antibiotics in farming practices is directly causing human resistance to antibiotics. The review has called for urgent change in farming and recognised antibiotic resistance in humans as was one of the biggest health threats that mankind faces now and in the coming decades [3].

Between 75 and 90 per cent of antibiotics are excreted un-metabolized by animals and enter the water supply; antibiotics also pass into the food chain from animals to humans [4].

Half of the world’s antibiotics are fed to farm animals in large factory farms [5], and this is as high as 80 per cent in the US [6]. Such farm animals are not living in a natural environment and do not lead a normal life – they are rapidly processed for food consumption and the use of antibiotics is mostly used to promote faster growth and to mitigate against the squalid conditions that animals are forced to live in.

The World Foundation for Natural Science highlighted this problem of the unnecessary use antibiotics at its 2015 World Congress. Veterinary Dr. Nicole Herout informed the audience of many natural, homeopathic alternatives to antibiotic use in animals, showing how unnecessary antibiotics are in farming and veterinary practice.

 

Sources:

[1] Antimicrobial Review full report: http://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160518_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf

[2] Antibiotic resistance death rate USA: http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/

[3] Antimicrobial Review, Foreword by Lord O’Neill, chair of the review”: http://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160518_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf

[4] Marshall, BM, Levy SB, Food animals and antimicrobials: impacts on human health. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 2011, 24, 718–733: http://cmr.asm.org/content/24/4/718.full

[5] Half of the world’s antibiotics fed to animals: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/philip-lymbery/blog/2016/05/official-report-calls-for-reduction-of-farm-antibiotics

[6] 80 per cent of antibiotic use in US is in farming: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/09/cdc-meat-industry-yes-you-contribute-antibiotic-resistance