06/29/2010 - When it comes to all the addictions that plague our society, there are two that rarely get enough attention, let alone a badly needed intervention: our factory farms' addiction to low-dose antibiotics, and our politicians' addiction to high-octane cash from mega industries like Big Ag and Big Pharma.
On Monday, the FDA gingerly announced that it is thinking about maybe recommending that livestock and poultry operations use antibiotics more judiciously.
Many animal factory farms (or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations -- CAFOs) rely heavily on sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics mixed into animal feed to prevent disease and make their animals grow faster. Operators can buy these pharmaceuticals by the barrel-full at a feed store, without a prescription and without the supervision of a vet. According to some figures, up to 70% of all US antibiotics are given to farm animals.
The bill's opponents include powerful Democrats from, you guessed it, states filled with factory farms. They are unmoved by sensible arguments made by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Practice, or the American Public Health Association. They want money.
Read the full blog post, To Get Our Farm Animals Off Drugs, First Get Our Politicians Off Farm (and Drug) Money on the Huffington Post's Web site.