Press Release, Opinion

''Breeding Bad Bugs''


"Study after study has found that the practice of feeding subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics to livestock to enhance growth is a threat to public health because it can lead to the breeding of antibiotic-resistant organisms, rendering essential drugs useless against disease-carrying organisms. Now there is alarming new evidence that unchecked antibiotic use in Chinese livestock farming has led to antibiotic-resistant genes in bacteria. China produces and uses more antibiotics than any other country, and nearly half the antibiotics it uses are fed to livestock.

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers examining manure samples from large-scale, antibiotic-intensive Chinese pig farms found 149 different genes showing antibiotic resistance in hog manure and in the soil. These genes are “diverse, abundant, and potentially mobile,” the report said. At antibiotic-free farms, only one-third as many resistant genes were found."

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