Oct 02 2016

Animals Consume 80 Percent of all Antibiotics in USA

Published by at 1:29 pm under Antibiotics

A few beefs with the meat industry.
What goes into the meat you eat may not be what we think. *

Last week we talked about how back in the 1960’s, a group of Harvard Scientists were paid by the sugar industry to present research regarding sugar in a favorable light. The news was reported in a high profile, well-respected journal and has influenced the public’s opinion for years. While consumers were led to believe one thing, the truth and reality regarding the health risks of sugar were buried for years while the public focused its concern elsewhere. While the sugar industry purposely deceived the public, there are other sectors of the food industry that while not being intentionally deceptive, are not completely transparent either.

Dairy and meat are foods that we consume a great deal of, yet there is not a lot of knowledge on the consumer’s part about the source from where it came. In this respect, we are somewhat in the dark about what we are really putting in our bodies and over time we have found that meats and dairy are from livestock that have been treated with antibiotics to speed their growth, fed genetically modified feed of corn and soy, and raised in crowded, inhumane conditions. While we don’t give it much thought, the livestock industry does what it can to increase profits while meeting demand…but at what cost to the health of the public and the humane treatment of the animals?1*

Meat has always been a staple in our diets. Our grandparents and their ancestors before them included meat at every meal. Back then, the meat they were putting in their bodies was in its healthiest form.  Meat came from a butcher, who most likely knew the person raising the meat he sold, and possibly knew the animal himself. Milkmen delivered bottles of fresh milk to the door step from a local dairy. Many people raised their own meat, had their own cows that had to be milked daily, and raised chicken for eggs and meat. I recall my grandmother telling me she had been told to “go out and get a chicken for dinner.” She couldn’t bring herself to “wring its neck” so she had to find someone else who did. They proceeded to pluck the feathers, clean the carcass and cook the meat in their own kitchen. They knew what was going into the meat they ate, because they fed and cared for their own livestock. 2*.

During the 1940s, livestock production began to change due to breakthroughs in pesticides and fertilizers as well as in medicine, animal nutrition and machinery. Industrialized farming began to take hold. Science was evolving, as seen with the discovery of Streptomycin by Selman Waksman, for which he received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery. Waksman had been seeking a cure for certain livestock diseases but found that Streptomycin was effective on so much more. It worked on many diseases previously only treated with penicillin, but was also effective against tuberculosis, pneumonia, urinary infections, typhoid fever and dysentery. It also helped eradicate bovine tuberculosis, mastitis, an infection found in dairy cattle’s udders. 3*

 While farmers and researchers were giving their livestock this antibiotic to combat disease and illness, they discovered something else which changed the livestock industry going forward. They found that the animals receiving these antibiotics were not only healthier, but they were growing at a faster rate, without increasing their food intake. This is when animals started to receive these antibiotics in their feed for sub-therapeutic reasons…. whether they were sick or not. Today, approximately 80% of all antibiotics used in the US are given to farm animals. That means only 20% of antibiotics, developed to fight illness in humans, is given to people. (3,4)*

.“…The meat industry doesn’t publicize its use of antibiotics, so accurate information on the amount of antibiotics given to food animals is hard to come by. Stuart B. Levy, M.D., who has studied the subject for years, estimates that there are 15-17 million pounds of antibiotics used sub-therapeutically in the United States each year. Antibiotics are given to animals for therapeutic reasons, but that use isn’t as controversial because few argue that sick animals should not be treated…”3*

The meat industry doesn’t broadcast their use of antibiotics for growth purposes, nor do they broadcast the living conditions, or the type of food they are giving their animals. So, as a consumer,  it is very difficult to know exactly what you are eating .While the meat or dairy industry is not being deceptive, they are not being overly transparent either and presenting us with the farm conditions on each package of meat. As consumers, we are trusting that our food is coming from a clean and healthy source, when it may not be the case. 4*

If you go out to eat, it is very difficult to know what you are really getting. Some restaurants are committed to serving antibiotic free meats. You can buy Certified Organic meats at most grocery stores, which, according to federal standards, means they prohibit antibiotic use in their meats.4*

If you are concerned about what you are eating, the best answer is to make sure your meat and dairy is certified organic. Look for eggs from free roaming chickens, and beef from free range cattle that are grass fed. Do your own research and seek out the farms whose practices you agree with most. Over use of antibiotics in meats and dairy has led to an even bigger problem and that is the creation of superbugs which become resistant to antibiotics. Many farmers are looking into adding probiotics to the diets of their farm animals and are finding it effective against preventing disease. It is important that we don’t overuse antibiotics. It is also important to supplement with BODY BIOTICS™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™. If we are taking such care in our own bodies, why wouldn’t we expect the same standards for the meat we eat? *

Healthiest wishes,






  1. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat
  2. http://naturallysavvy.com/eat/food-then-and-now-how-nutrition-has-changed
  3. http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/crops_09.html
  4. http://www.sustainabletable.org/257/antibiotics

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