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(Salon)   Politicians who support "big agriculture" and factory farms are plunging the US into an antibiotics nightmare because bacteria are adapting a resistance to drugs and there might be a global pandemic that would destroy us all. Or not   (salon.com) divider line 42
    More: PSA, Infectious Diseases Society of America, production system, industrial agriculture, antibiotics, government scientist  
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2318 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jan 2014 at 12:17 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



42 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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vpb [TotalFark]
2014-01-12 12:01:25 PM
This is how American exceptionalisim came to be.  The weak die off and leave only the job creators.
 
2014-01-12 12:15:29 PM
People
Eating
Tasty
Antibiotics
 
2014-01-12 12:20:58 PM
That's a little hyperbolic, but the past couple decades of using antibacterials as a first line panacea for everything isn't doing us any favors.
 
2014-01-12 12:22:53 PM

Summoner101: That's a little hyperbolic, but the past couple decades of using antibacterials as a first line panacea for everything isn't doing us any favors.


Seriously. Until fairly recently, people were being prescribed antibiotics for viruses. WTF?
 
2014-01-12 12:23:56 PM
The effects are small, but widespread and it adds up with all the other toxins farking up our food and environment.
 
2014-01-12 12:24:09 PM
Ever notice how young girls have huge ass racks at the age of 12 now.. No I'm not a perv.

Shoot up the cows with a hormone to make them milk more. Kids drink the milk, kids have huge ass knockers at age 12.

Suddenly lost my train of thought, carry on.
 
2014-01-12 12:24:17 PM
I'm actually shocked that this hasn't happened already the way we overuse antibiotics.

I guess total overkill is better than taking half a course. Harder to gradually ramp up resistance that way.
 
2014-01-12 12:26:19 PM
Super resistant bacteria are

cfile214.uf.daum.net
 
2014-01-12 12:30:53 PM
Wait til you get a vet bill.

Because a corporation can get cost effective by using more antibiotic for better weight gain than more expensive feed, you get to pay more to treat your pet because antibiotic resistance is not just for humans.

Of course, if you are a paid creationist you could overlook this very dangerous contemporary evolution of drug resistance.
 
2014-01-12 12:31:30 PM

El Dudereno: Summoner101: That's a little hyperbolic, but the past couple decades of using antibacterials as a first line panacea for everything isn't doing us any favors.

Seriously. Until fairly recently, people were being prescribed antibiotics for viruses. WTF?


Fortunately, working in a hospital, it's great to see doctors taking a harder stand against patients who are diagnosed with non-bacteria related diseases demanding to be prescribed antibacterials.
 
2014-01-12 12:37:08 PM
This isn't unusual. Cattle are used to living on a diet consisting of browsing and grazing. In order to to get consistent, delicious cow for the butcher shop, we force cows to live on a diet of feed (cattle corn). Cows did not evolve to survive off of feed, so we've been forcing cows to take antibiotics so they can digest feed better and don't get sick as a result of their artificial diet. In addition, we throw in vitamin/mineral supplements to their feed to go along with their antibiotics since feed does not give the cows everything they require to survive.

After decades of pre-emptively feeding our cows antibiotics so they taste better, it's not a big surprise they're the result of drug-resistant bacteria. It's a genetic arms race for the sake of tasty beef.

... god, I need a steak now.
 
2014-01-12 12:51:55 PM
I just wish that a loaf of bread would cost $10, because that would be better social justice.
 
2014-01-12 12:54:48 PM
Global pandemic? Certainly would put a dent in that whole entitlements shortfall issue!
 
2014-01-12 12:55:48 PM

Summoner101: El Dudereno: Summoner101: That's a little hyperbolic, but the past couple decades of using antibacterials as a first line panacea for everything isn't doing us any favors.

Seriously. Until fairly recently, people were being prescribed antibiotics for viruses. WTF?

Fortunately, working in a hospital, it's great to see doctors taking a harder stand against patients who are diagnosed with non-bacteria related diseases demanding to be prescribed antibacterials.


Patients are usually morons in that regard, and can be forgiven (whilst still denying them the anti-Bs). It's the doctors who prescribe Anti-Bs for every farking little ailment to prevent "Secondary infections" that need to be taken out back and shot.

BMFPitt: I'm actually shocked that this hasn't happened already the way we overuse antibiotics.

I guess total overkill is better than taking half a course. Harder to gradually ramp up resistance that way.



The first of many
 
2014-01-12 12:57:45 PM
DESTROY US ALL!

DESTROY US ALL!

DESTROY US ALL!
 
2014-01-12 12:57:50 PM
I don't understand why family farmers are held in such esteem, merely because they inherited land. Even a small farm is quite valuable, as far as land prices go. Surely the idea that you have some sort of "Right to Farm" (if your father was a farmer) runs counter to the idea of equality, opportunity, and independence.

Family farms are, at best, break-even enterprises. Instead of propping them up with subsidies, they should go broke *naturally*, so that the land and resources they use inefficiently can be consolidated into corporate farms of more profitable scale.
 
2014-01-12 01:03:08 PM

vpb: This is how American exceptionalisim came to be.  The weak die off and leave only the job creators.


I have the feeling the FDA is holding onto some awesome anti-biotics that will only be used for the 1% when/if the pandemic hits.
 
2014-01-12 01:09:41 PM
So nothing new.
 
2014-01-12 01:14:13 PM
The truth is the mixed bag, that people who are immune compromised are petri dishes optimized to produce drug resistant bacteria.  The solution to this is to give immune compromised people a lot better healthcare, along with careful and strict antibiotic discipline.  While this is a lot better for them, it is also a lot better for everyone else as well.

I need to be clear that this would not make life harder for the immune compromised, from their point of view, but that their treatment would to be "tailor made" for them, to insure it is not making them worse or putting others at risk.
 
2014-01-12 01:32:40 PM
It's worth pointing out that everyone who purchases meat produced with antibiotics is directly supporting and funding the problem also.

Of course,  it feels good to say that it's someone else's fault.  Especially if you can pin it on someone you already hate - evil corporations, or heartless politicians - those rat bastards.  But the truth is that theconsumers of meat are just as complicit as anyone else, if not more so - they are where the money flows from from.

If "evil" means looking out for your own self interest without concern for the consequences on other people, then consumers who
knowingly support the industry are every bit as "evil" as the corporations.  You can end the practice with your purchasing habits.  Have a bowl of oatmeal instead.
 
2014-01-12 01:42:26 PM

letrole: I don't understand why family farmers are held in such esteem, merely because they inherited land. Even a small farm is quite valuable, as far as land prices go. Surely the idea that you have some sort of "Right to Farm" (if your father was a farmer) runs counter to the idea of equality, opportunity, and independence.

Family farms are, at best, break-even enterprises. Instead of propping them up with subsidies, they should go broke *naturally*, so that the land and resources they use inefficiently can be consolidated into corporate farms of more profitable scale.


Usually, only a small fraction of the family farm is passed through generations. Farmers rent or buy much of their land from retired farmers or investors.

The environmental advantage of a family farm over industrial farms are tremendous. A family will farm the same piece of ground for 50+ years, while corporate farms are more concerned for more immediate returns. BTW, corporate farms qualify for many of the same subsidies as family farms.
 
2014-01-12 01:45:55 PM

El Dudereno: Summoner101: That's a little hyperbolic, but the past couple decades of using antibacterials as a first line panacea for everything isn't doing us any favors.

Seriously. Until fairly recently, people were being prescribed antibiotics for viruses. WTF?


Bacteria cultures normally take 48 hours to know what bacteria you may have causing your illness. Viruses typically have a quicker onset to remission time (typically-referring to the cold symptom type)

While doctors take a share of the blame, unfortunately people want to feel they get something for their money. So a patient walks in with under 48 hours of cold like symptoms, they don't want to be told that they need home remedies. They want the magical prescription that will make them feel better. Otherwise, why did they pay the doctor? They could have done that at home. 

I've seen patients doctor shop for antibiotics. I've heard lies about duration of symptoms and severity. When people are sick, they want to be coddled. They want the panacea, so the physicians prescribe an antibiotic that will likely have no effect. 

/fark tamiflu commercials
 
2014-01-12 01:48:42 PM

Weatherkiss: This isn't unusual. Cattle are used to living on a diet consisting of browsing and grazing. In order to to get consistent, delicious cow for the butcher shop, we force cows to live on a diet of feed (cattle corn). Cows did not evolve to survive off of feed, so we've been forcing cows to take antibiotics so they can digest feed better and don't get sick as a result of their artificial diet. In addition, we throw in vitamin/mineral supplements to their feed to go along with their antibiotics since feed does not give the cows everything they require to survive.

After decades of pre-emptively feeding our cows antibiotics so they taste better, it's not a big surprise they're the result of drug-resistant bacteria. It's a genetic arms race for the sake of tasty beef.

... god, I need a steak now.


So close and yet so far.  Changing the cow's diet isn't what requires the use of anti-biotics.  It's CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) that indicate over-use of anti-biotics.  Having that many animals packed into such a small space while walking around in their own excrement is what leads to the diseases that the sub-therapeutic use of anti-biotics are supposed to control.  Bacteria, both good and bad, are present in the system of all farm animals.  When they are stressed by confinement and over-crowding, their immunity to harmful bacteria is compromised, thus the constant use of anti-biotics in either the feed or water.  CAFO operators also put pro-biotics in feed to stimulate beneficial bacteria because those are also decimated by anti-biotics.  So it isn't the feed but the management that drives the use of anti-biotics.

As to their diets giving livestock everything they need to survive, those diets have been studied, calculated and are mixed to precise measurements that satisfy every micro-nutrient requirement of the livestock involved.  It has been postulated that if we studied and controlled the human diet as well as we have that of hogs, beef cattle, and poultry, we would eliminate most illness and significantly increase life-expectancy.  Of course, eating exactly the same perfectly balanced diet that has been ground to the perfect size (measured in microns) every day for your entire life may not actually increase your life span as much as it would seem to last insufferably long.

The anti-biotics don't do anything to help the flavor of the meat - they just keep it alive.  Their function is to keep the price down.

Our food policy in this country is supposedly designed to provide cheap food.  When one calculates in the cost of farm subsidies, it is anything but cheap.  Also, the scale at which modern agriculture operates means that production is concentrated in a few areas and then the produce is shipped around the country.  Because so much of what we buy in stores and even restaurants is processed, consumers spend more on processing, shipping,  and packaging than they do on the actual food content.  If consumers want to source food locally, it's a bit of an effort and they can get much better food at a reasonable cost that provides the (usually small) farmer with from double to quintuple the price he would get for that same commodity in the market.  But all of the middle-men are cut out.

The problem is that our food infrastructure and government policy is designed for huge operations.  The small producers are almost operating underground.  There are not nearly enough of them around (yet) to feed everybody.  Even though their productivity per acre can be as good as the big operations, they simply don't fit into the massive scale of the modern marketplace.
 
2014-01-12 01:48:58 PM

Weatherkiss: This isn't unusual. Cattle are used to living on a diet consisting of browsing and grazing. In order to to get consistent, delicious cow for the butcher shop, we force cows to live on a diet of feed (cattle corn). Cows did not evolve to survive off of feed, so we've been forcing cows to take antibiotics so they can digest feed better and don't get sick as a result of their artificial diet. In addition, we throw in vitamin/mineral supplements to their feed to go along with their antibiotics since feed does not give the cows everything they require to survive.

After decades of pre-emptively feeding our cows antibiotics so they taste better, it's not a big surprise they're the result of drug-resistant bacteria. It's a genetic arms race for the sake of tasty beef.

... god, I need a steak now.


I actually prefer the taste of a grass-finished steak over that perfectly marbled feedlot steak.
It tastes more like animal.
 
2014-01-12 01:58:25 PM
The use of antibiotics in agriculture extends to plants also, with both streptomycin and tetracycline approved for usage in the field.  Currently, there is no clear consensus on whether this results in antibiotic resistance in the bacterial pathogens targeted, with some researchers finding increased resistance while others find none.  However, animals feeding off of plants within 12 hours of antibiotic treatment have been found to harbor more antibiotic resistant strains of other bacteria species than control animals.

Currently, cephlasporins are not permissable plant antibiotics in the US.  About a year ago, I went to a seminar where a researcher had used cephlasporin to prevent an outbreak of salmonella in cereal grains in a greenhouse setting.  He wanted to extend this, spraying a couple hundred acres with cephlasporin, but the EPA wouldn't give approval. He was aware of the risk of antibiotic resistance but instead of wanting to curb the use in animal feeds, he felt that if animal producers could use it, he should be able to as well.
 
2014-01-12 02:09:39 PM
I used to live in Nebraska, and that turned me into a food freak. I still won't touch corn, steak, hamburger, or soy that I can't be sure came from a recommended organic farm. I did the Nebraska typical diet, not healthy, but nor fatty either, for a few years, and the impact on my health was nightmarish.
 
2014-01-12 02:20:07 PM
Bacteria are the oldest and most quickly adapting organism in existence. No matter how many we attempt to kill, they will outlive everything on the planet. They will be here when the sun explodes.
 
2014-01-12 02:28:27 PM

thehobbes: El Dudereno: Summoner101: That's a little hyperbolic, but the past couple decades of using antibacterials as a first line panacea for everything isn't doing us any favors.

Seriously. Until fairly recently, people were being prescribed antibiotics for viruses. WTF?

Bacteria cultures normally take 48 hours to know what bacteria you may have causing your illness. Viruses typically have a quicker onset to remission time (typically-referring to the cold symptom type)

While doctors take a share of the blame, unfortunately people want to feel they get something for their money. So a patient walks in with under 48 hours of cold like symptoms, they don't want to be told that they need home remedies. They want the magical prescription that will make them feel better. Otherwise, why did they pay the doctor? They could have done that at home. 

I've seen patients doctor shop for antibiotics. I've heard lies about duration of symptoms and severity. When people are sick, they want to be coddled. They want the panacea, so the physicians prescribe an antibiotic that will likely have no effect. 

/fark tamiflu commercials


And doctors aren't prescribing placebos why?
 
2014-01-12 02:32:47 PM
piledhigheranddeeper: The environmental advantage of a family farm over industrial farms are tremendous. A family will farm the same piece of ground for 50+ years, while corporate farms are more concerned for more immediate returns. BTW, corporate farms qualify for many of the same subsidies as family farms.

economy of scale

higher profits, higher yields, better quality, better land management, better epa compliance

every argument for family farms comes back to sentimental ramblings about family farms being an holy vocation.
 
2014-01-12 03:17:28 PM
Anything for 0.0000001% higher profit margin.
 
2014-01-12 03:20:43 PM

Gentoolive: Ever notice how young girls have huge ass racks at the age of 12 now.. No I'm not a perv.

Shoot up the cows with a hormone to make them milk more. Kids drink the milk, kids have huge ass knockers at age 12.

Suddenly lost my train of thought, carry on.


Ross:  Rachel won't talk to me! She won't even open the door!
Phoebe: Hmm, I wonder why. Pervert!
Ross: Okay, listen I am not a pervert!
Phoebe: That's like the pervert motto! Yeah! Yeah! They have you raise your right hand, put your left hand down your pants, and repeat that!
 
2014-01-12 03:28:30 PM
Why don't we kill a couple of birds with one stone: nuclear power 1) most efficient and clean way to produce electricity (fukawhat), 2) use the waste of nuclear power to irradiate food supplies and manure to kill all bacteria in the supply, and 3) if something really bad happens we can reduce our energy use at night as everything will glow?

We are already farked anyways, right?
 
2014-01-12 03:38:31 PM

FarkQued: Why don't we kill a couple of birds with one stone: nuclear power 1) most efficient and clean way to produce electricity (fukawhat), 2) use the waste of nuclear power to irradiate food supplies and manure to kill all bacteria in the supply, and 3) if something really bad happens we can reduce our energy use at night as everything will glow?



Americans are terrified of anything involving the words nuclear or radiation.
 
2014-01-12 03:43:02 PM

Stibium: And doctors aren't prescribing placebos why?


Patient's rights advocacy. And the internet. 

People only like being lied to when it confirms their personal beliefs...
 
2014-01-12 03:43:38 PM
Why can't we do both, at this point in time.
Factory farming locally. In the city even.

This one facility geared up to produce 500,000 lbs of vegetables in Chicago this past year, and could produce 1 Million lbs in 2014.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/07/the-plant-explained-chicago -u rban-farm_n_1497832.html

50 of "The Plant" type operations would supply Chicago almost entirely for their basic vegetable needs, as well as most of their fish/aquaculture products.

Why not have the largest 300 cities in America produce most of their own food supplies locally.
While in the process of determining the limits of local production we could keep bringing in the stuff that can't be cultivated locally using the global supply chains, but why waste resources shipping stuff that could be produced locally.

This would keep down packaging, handling, transportation, and increase product quality, freshness and longevity in the hands of end counsumers.
 
2014-01-12 03:48:45 PM
"If your production system makes animals sick in a predictable manner, then that system is broken," says Lance Price, an epidemiologist at George Washington University who studies the spread of foodborne bacteria.

 I think that pretty much sums it up. YMMV
 
2014-01-12 05:25:29 PM

generallyso: FarkQued: Why don't we kill a couple of birds with one stone: nuclear power 1) most efficient and clean way to produce electricity (fukawhat), 2) use the waste of nuclear power to irradiate food supplies and manure to kill all bacteria in the supply, and 3) if something really bad happens we can reduce our energy use at night as everything will glow?


Americans are terrified of anything involving the words nuclear or radiation.


Americans aren't, the EPA is.
 
2014-01-12 07:31:27 PM

Gentoolive: Shoot up the cows with a hormone to make them milk more. Kids drink the milk, kids have huge ass knockers at age 12.


And that's just the boys.
 
2014-01-12 08:41:53 PM
I think its ignorant and farking silly to think giving our livestock antibiotics ISNT hurting us down the line. MRSA and the like that come from hospitals are becoming to resistant simply because over overexposure to antibiotics, to think livestock who get it farking daily arent creating antibiotic immune diseases is just plain ignorant
 
2014-01-13 01:19:43 AM

iheartscotch: DESTROY US ALL!

DESTROY US ALL!

DESTROY US ALL!


Very well.

www.alicia-logic.com
 
2014-01-13 08:09:06 AM

letrole: I don't understand why family farmers are held in such esteem, merely because they inherited land. Even a small farm is quite valuable, as far as land prices go. Surely the idea that you have some sort of "Right to Farm" (if your father was a farmer) runs counter to the idea of equality, opportunity, and independence.

Family farms are, at best, break-even enterprises. Instead of propping them up with subsidies, they should go broke *naturally*, so that the land and resources they use inefficiently can be consolidated into corporate farms of more profitable scale.


This is how you mega-troll, folks!

10/10
 
2014-01-13 03:40:04 PM
Processes requiring antibiotics in meat production increases profits by less than 2%. The headline might be a bit hyperbolic, but if it is even a tiny bit true... wouldn't it just be better to stop doing it any pay 2% more for meat?

even if we really did need to live in a world where we can get a shiatty burger for 99 cents, the actual cost of the MEAT in that burger is what... maybe 10, 20 cents? so.... gonna have to change a full dollar now?  the margins that antibiotics achieve pale in comparison to credit card fees.
 
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