09/21/2010 - Most of the antibiotics sold in the United States — 70 percent — go to the animals we eat, especially pigs and chickens. To speed up growth and to prevent the spread of disease in crowded conditions, growers put small amounts of antibiotics into animals’ daily feed. The result is nearly the same as if we were eating the antibiotics ourselves: an increase in antibiotic resistance in humans and the emergence of drug-resistant microbes.
In a July letter to Congress, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that there is “a clear link between antibiotic use in animals and antibiotic resistance in humans.” Despite that warning, the regulatory agencies have been too slow and timid in their response.
Read the rest of the editorial We Are What We Eat on The New York Times' web site.