Farmacology - Antibiotics and Industrial Agriculture

Monday Morning Blog

An article appeared in the June 2009, Johns Hopkins University Magazine entitled "Farmacology" that chronicled Johns Hopkins researchers who say that drug resistant pathogens (like e coli and salmonella) are being bred on farms that routinely feed low doses of antibiotics to animals so they can be taken to market sooner. This began right after World War II and has been standard practice on mega - industrial farms for the past fifty years.

It is estimated, the article says, that 50 to 80 % of all antibiotics used in the United States are fed to meat producing animals as a supplement to promote faster growth (and quicker profits) - not to treat disease.

The antibiotic resistant bacteria find their way from the factory farms into the general food and water supply as well as the population at large. Since these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, they become life threatening.

Using antibiotics as a growth promoter so animals can be brought to market sooner seems a reckless endangerment of all life.

The more we know about industrial agriculture, the more we realize how important it is to know where our food comes from and how it was produced. The buy fresh, buy local concept of supporting local agriculture is a simple and straight forward. It's a great place to start.

To know the farmer. To know the land. To know how your food was produced. These are all such important steps in keeping our food and water supply safe for us all - now like never before.


Want to read the whole article for yourself?
Johns Hopkins Magazine
June 2009
Electronic edition -


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