It’s been clearly documented that residues from antibiotics wind up in the nonorganic meat we eat, something that hasn’t been studied for its long-term health impacts in people. What is immediately apparent, though, is the strong science showing that feeding healthy farm animals antibiotics for the last several decades has created untreatable superbug infections that in America kill about 17,000 people a year, more than AIDS. About 80 percent of all antibiotics administered in the U.S. are used on healthy animals, not people, creating a public health crisis.
Despite this dangerous public health threat, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Wednesday announced that it will not formally ban the use of antibiotics in livestock, but will instead ask the industrial food system to voluntarily stop the dangerous practice. “FDA doesn’t actually require the livestock industry to do anything to stop endangering human health,” explains Avinash Kar, attorney with Natural Resources Defense Council. “This is an ineffective response to the alarming rise in antibiotic resistance, which threatens human health.”