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Antibiotic ban on livestock may hurt U.S. food safety
Reuters via Yahoo ^ | 03/24/09 | Christopher Doering

Posted on 03/25/2009 9:32:50 AM PDT by Abathar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bill that would ban the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in animals would hurt the health of livestock and poultry while compromising efforts to protect the safety of the country's food supply, the leader of the largest U.S. farm group said on Tuesday.

Bob Stallman, president of the 6 million-member American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a letter to Congress that its members "carefully, judiciously and according to label instructions" use antibiotics to treat, prevent and control disease in animals.

"Antibiotic use in animals does not pose a serious public health threat," said Stallman, who urged lawmakers to oppose the bill. "Restricting access to these important tools will jeopardize animal health and compromise our ability to contribute to public health through food safety" he added.

Industry groups that oppose the ban contend animal deaths would go up, producer costs would rise, meat output would drop and consumers would see prices climb. They contend there is no evidence that a public health threat has occurred because of the use of antibiotics in animals.

Introduced in the House of Representatives by Louise Slaughter and in the Senate by Edward Kennedy, the legislation, would ban the use of antibiotics important to human health from being used on cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry unless animals are ill.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antibiotics; farming; food; livestock
I am not an expert, but I do know that by the time many of these infections are found it has already contaminate the entire herd.

This will be expensive for us all if it passes.

1 posted on 03/25/2009 9:32:50 AM PDT by Abathar
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To: Abathar

This is being considered because foreign countries like France will not take our meat if antibiotics are used. The widespread practice of using antibiotics also plays a role in the super bug problem where people are becoming resistant to antibiotics.


2 posted on 03/25/2009 9:36:12 AM PDT by nyconse (When you buy something, make an investment in your country. Buy American or bye bye America)
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To: Abathar

I already buy meat and poultry that has not been given or exposed to anti-biotics or hormones, and so far I have not been poisoned. This is a case of buyer beware. You need to know where what you eat is coming from, and you need to be able to trust those who supply it. All that notwithstanding, I suspect that once this rules goes into effect on a widespread basis, applying, of course to imports as well as domestic products, there will be some interesting stories on Discovery Health about mass poisonings.


3 posted on 03/25/2009 9:37:07 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: nyconse

I just don’t buy the industry’s line on this. Antibiotic over-use has become a serious health issue. We are continually exposed to all sorts of antibiotics in the foods we eat, then wonder why when we get sick - they don’t often work like they use to...


4 posted on 03/25/2009 9:38:45 AM PDT by TheBattman (Pray for our country....)
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To: La Lydia

Finding meat that has not been given antibiotics is difficult around here.

I have an idea - how about mandatory labeling of meat from antibiotic exposed meat and that which is not. Then let consumers decide. What a concept.


5 posted on 03/25/2009 9:40:56 AM PDT by TheBattman (Pray for our country....)
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To: TheBattman

Yes it has...take a sick kid to the doctor and you have to fight for antibiotics...kids are actually losing their hearing with untreated ear infections which are very painful. Yet, they put it in our food all the time.


6 posted on 03/25/2009 9:41:18 AM PDT by nyconse (When you buy something, make an investment in your country. Buy American or bye bye America)
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To: TheBattman

It won’t be nearly as expensive as trying to stop antibiotic resistant bugs.

I’m a little irritated with the FDA approval of an ecoli vaccine for cattle too. It seems to reduce the urgency of sanitation and frankly I’d rather eat beef that was free of E coli because it was clean than eat filthy beef because it was vaccinated.


7 posted on 03/25/2009 9:42:04 AM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: nyconse

This is being considered because foreign countries like France will not take our meat if antibiotics are used. “”

FRance has absolutely no problem taking the horses that are shipped to Mexico for slaughter and then the meat is shipped to France!!! They certainly are not worried about the sanitary conditions of Mexico’s slaughter houses....(sarc).


8 posted on 03/25/2009 9:45:24 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: nyconse

Four kids in our family— I remember that NO antibiotics were given for ear problems. It is a part of the growing process. We got plain old Bayer aspirin.
We all grew out of the ‘infections’, and we all have good hearing today- all of us are over 60, and I was exposed for lengthy years to drag racing- with no ear protection.


9 posted on 03/25/2009 9:47:41 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: ridesthemiles

Well my niece has a permanent hearing loss because of an untreated infection...the doctor would not give antibiotics... I say no antibiotics in meat.


10 posted on 03/25/2009 9:51:49 AM PDT by nyconse (When you buy something, make an investment in your country. Buy American or bye bye America)
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To: ridesthemiles

Wow, I was looking for the article about the meat and found this instead. Anyone hear about bird flu hitting Texas...yikes!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trade-war-looms-as-us-bans-french-meat-imports-571188.html


11 posted on 03/25/2009 9:54:51 AM PDT by nyconse (When you buy something, make an investment in your country. Buy American or bye bye America)
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To: TheBattman

My mistake, It was hormones not antibiotics that are the problem.

Like to sip a classic Italian mineral water with a pleasant bruschetta appetizer? Get ready to pay double for your drink. Big fan of the French cheese Roquefort? Its price increase will raise more of a stink than the famously pungent cheese.

Both items are caught in a long-running trade war between the United States and the European Union. The battle will intensify this month when a new round of U.S. tariffs land on a bevy of European gourmet foods, from truffles to certain kinds of chocolate bars.

The tariffs are payback for the European Union’s ban on imports of U.S. beef containing hormones, which Europeans say pose a potential health hazard. The World Trade Organization says the EU is free to make that claim, even though it hasn’t been scientifically proven.


12 posted on 03/25/2009 10:02:38 AM PDT by nyconse (When you buy something, make an investment in your country. Buy American or bye bye America)
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To: TheBattman

Try a locally owned health-food store. And my Giant and Safeway sell chemical-free meat, poultry and dairy. But I get mine from a local I know and trust. I have even met a number of the producers. They run small farms and ranches. Some of the best lamb I ever bought was from some people in Iceland who were here promoting their chemical-free products in a local stores.


13 posted on 03/25/2009 10:10:08 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: cripplecreek

And I think you have hit the industry on the head with that one. Give the cattle an injection - or actually run clean processing plants.


14 posted on 03/25/2009 10:12:13 AM PDT by TheBattman (Pray for our country....)
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To: Abathar

I grew up on a cattle farm. The only time we used antibiotics as a prophylactic was when we neutered with a knife for some reason. Generally speaking we neutered with an elastic band so there was no open wound.

That said, our cattle had pasture to roam and graze, even the feeder cattle. The need for antibiotics could be attributed to feeding in confinement.


15 posted on 03/25/2009 10:17:48 AM PDT by IamConservative (I'll keep my money. You keep the change.)
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To: Abathar
The problem is that any redneck with a syringe can get his hands on just about any antibiotic he wants and get all the anabolic steroids he wants from distributors. Many haven't a clue on the correct use of antibiotics or steroids and use them indiscriminately thereby creating the antibiotic resistance problem. There is a lot of money to be made selling the antibiotics and drugs to cattlemen directly without any oversight. I have quit serving cattlemen because of the dishonest and sheer greed and ignorance of them. Most cattlemen in this area care nothing about the health and welfare of the animals, much less the wholesomeness of the product.
16 posted on 03/25/2009 10:19:32 AM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Abathar

I’m far from an expert also, but I do raise animals for meat, and have never used hormones or anti biotics on them, and have yet to lose one.

The anti biotics have to be used when animals are crammed together, like the hog factories of the mid west and south.

Drive by a smithfield “farm” and breath in deep. See if you can keep from wretching.

Just my two cents, but get your meat from a small farmer via craigslist.


17 posted on 03/25/2009 10:21:55 AM PDT by Colvin (Harry Reid is a sap sucking idiot.)
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To: IamConservative

I kind of figured the feeder lots that are set up now must contribute to it.

Our neighbor has 25 cows on 1.5 acres, we have been yelling at the township to enforce the 2 cows per acre rule they have on the books, but so far they just ignore us.


18 posted on 03/25/2009 10:24:04 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: vetvetdoug

My MIL raised miniature donkeys, miniature horses, and Alpacas. She had jugs full of amoxicillan and other antibiotics I can’t begin to pronounce or spell, by the thousands.

She would take those things like candy when she thinks she is getting sick.

(I have to admit, several years ago I had a sinus infection the doctor wrote me a script for 500mg 4 times a day. This was quite a few years ago before Walmarts gave them away for practically free so I used her 250mg instead of buying them, they worked just fine for me too)


19 posted on 03/25/2009 10:33:23 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Abathar
I kind of figured the feeder lots that are set up now must contribute to it.

I think it does. On the occasion we would buy feeder cattle from auction, they almost always arrived with snotty noses, the squirts, etc. Had to be from the confined proximity at the yard. Otherwise, we very, very rarely ever had an animal get sick. When we did bring auction cattle to the farm, we kept the quarantined for a few days to make sure they all were healthy.

If you watch cattle in the pasture too, they eat some weird stuff. Chewing bark off of trees, eating different weeds. I have to think some of that is instinctive self medication. Kind of like a cat eating grass so it can yack up the fur balls and bones.

20 posted on 03/25/2009 10:35:39 AM PDT by IamConservative (I'll keep my money. You keep the change.)
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To: IamConservative

My barber’s family raises cattle, he mentioned to me a while back that they had to stop letting septic cleaning companies spray it out on their fields. He was telling me that it contained tomato seeds, and that if the cows ate any tomato plants that germinated it would bloat their stomach and kill them.

I thought about it for a second and came to the conclusion that his cow eating a tomato plant was about the very last thing I would be concerned about with them doing that.


21 posted on 03/25/2009 10:42:17 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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