Last year, the FDA released voluntary guidance for the pharmaceutical industry, which sells 80% of all antibiotics in the U.S. to farmers, primarily because they promote growth in animals. That guidance asked drug companies to please stop selling antibiotics for that purpose, but allows them to keep selling just as many drugs for “disease prevention,” even though it’s been proven that continuous, low-dose use of antibiotics renders their medical use less effective and contributes to the development of drug-resistant pathogens. Today, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued a report that some had hoped would recommend the FDA take a harder line on this issue. Those people are probably a bit disappointed. [More]
Yesterday, the FDA came out swinging (with a Wiffle ball bat) against the medically unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal feed (by politely asking the drug companies that make piles of cash off these drugs to please stop selling so many of them to farmers just to encourage tissue growth). To demonstrate just how weak this (in)action is, one need look no further than the enthusiastic response from the nation’s huge meat and drug companies. [More]
In the face of numerous reports indicating that the practice of using medically unnecessary antibiotics to bulk up farm animals is leading to millions of people getting sick each year from drug-resistant pathogens, the Food & Drug Administration drew a line in the sand today and put an end to the practi– oh wait, I meant that the FDA has politely asked drug companies to voluntarily phase out sales of these drugs to farmers. [More]
On March 5, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control issued a press released titled “Lethal, Drug Resistant Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Healthcare Facilities.” The warning that followed was dire. Drug-resistant organisms called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, were not only spreading more rapidly through U.S. hospitals, they were becoming more resistant to so-called “last-resort” antibiotics. “CRE are nightmare bacteria,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. How nightmarish? According to data from the CDC, 1 in 2 patients who contract a bloodstream CRE infection will die. That’s an ominous statistic, but it might not even be the scariest fact about CRE. [More]
Most of us know that there may be potentially harmful bacteria on the raw meat we buy, but a new study appears to show a direct link between animals that have been provided antibiotics and the presence of pathogens that are resistant to drugs. [More]
You know all that delicious Tamiflu we humans have been taking in order to reduce our suffering as various strains of regular, swine, and bird flu fly around the globe? Yeah, um, turns out that it doesn’t break down in our bodies and can’t be removed by water treatment plants. The combination of Tamiflu-polluted waters and wild birds may result in resistant strains of avian flu.