|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
Why antibiotics in meat should give you pause
|In other words, evolutionary biology should matter to just about everybody in America - and would, if they paid heed to several new studies confirming what some scientists have argued for years: that antibiotics are dangerously overused, especially to enhance the growth of farm animals.|
The result has been the swift evolution of bacteria that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, such as Ampicillin, Erythromycin and Ciprofloxacin - which you may remember as Cipro, the drug of choice in last year's anthrax attacks.
You don't have to live on a farm to care about this. According to two of the studies, these drug-resistant strains are probably as close as your nearest supermarket, or even in the package of raw chicken you bought to make tonight's dinner.
In a study conducted by Consumers Union, researchers found Campylobacter in 42 percent of nearly 500 broiler chickens purchased in 25 different cities, and Salmonella in 12 percent.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker