A map showing the countries in which the MCR-1 gene has been confirmed.

Drug-Resistant Superbug Gene Found In At Least 19 Countries Since November

You’ve likely never been prescribed the antibiotic colistin, because it’s a drug of last resort that you turn to after only other antibiotics have failed. But there’s a gene that can make bacteria resistant to colistin, and a new report says it’s been found in at least 19 countries on four continents. [More]

(Teresa RS)

New FDA Rule Would Provide More Information About Antibiotics In Farm Animals, But Still Not Enough

After decades of inaction on the issue, the FDA is slowly taking actions that it hopes will curb the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, which currently accounts for around 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. The agency’s latest measure, if approved, will provide more information about how farmers are using these medically important drugs, but by the FDA’s own admission, it’s still not sufficient. [More]


Can New McDonald’s CEO Turn Tide Against Antibiotic Abuse In Farm Animals?

Since the Food and Drug Administration won’t set down hard-and-fast rules on non-medical antibiotic use in farm animals, it’s up to the farmers and the companies who buy the most meat to make a change that will cut down on the use of drugs that result in bigger cows, pigs, and chickens, but also put us all at risk for drug-resistant pathogens. [More]

(Photo: Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation)

FDA: Use Of Vital Human Antibiotics In Animals Increased 16% In 3 Years

Even as a growing number of people — from consumers to scientists to physicians — expressed concerns about the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed, a new FDA report shows that farmers continued adding more drugs to their animals’ diets, and that almost every one of those antibiotics was purchased and administered without a prescription. [More]

(Patrick Dockens)

White House Acknowledges Over-Use Of Antibiotics In Farm Animals, Shrugs

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]

(Illinois State Fair)

A 12-Year-Old Girl Just Made $100,000 By Selling Her Grand Champion Steer

When you and I were 12, we were really lucky to make $10 selling lemonade on even the hottest of days. But one very special 12-year-old isn’t making the big bucks on shilling drinks — she’s just sold a grand champion steer for a whopping $100,000. [More]

CDC: 2 Million Americans Get Sick From Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Every Year

CDC: 2 Million Americans Get Sick From Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Every Year

While livestock farmers around the country continue to feed medically unnecessary antibiotics to their animals for the sole purpose of encouraging growth, millions of Americans are falling ill — and thousands dying — every year from bacterial and fungal infections that are resistant to current medication, claims a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. [More]

Escaped Cow Visits McDonald's Drive-Thru, Ponders Circle Of Life

Escaped Cow Visits McDonald's Drive-Thru, Ponders Circle Of Life

If you’re an attentive reader of this site, you know that people are always bringing inappropriate things to fast-food drive-thrus, hoping to get served. Mobility scooters. Snakes. Even pedestrians have tried and failed to acquire food. But when Darcy wandered up to the drive-thru window at a Colorado McDonald’s on foot, employees didn’t just wearily tell her to go inside the restaurant to order like all of the other pedestrians. That’s because Darcy is a dairy cow. [More]


The Humane Society of America has sued the USDA in an attempt to close a loophole that allows downer cows who aren’t otherwise ill into the food supply. They claim the loophole increases the risk of introducing mad cow disease to humans, and leads to abuse against the cattle—like with, oh, say, a forklift. [Wall Street Journal]


Wired talks to farmers who own cloned livestock and dairy cows—2nd and 3rd iterations of valuable original “models.” The FDA hasn’t officially approved cloned meat and milk for supermarkets yet, though, and lots of consumers still freak out. (Did you when you read that first sentence?) [Wired]

The Heifer Project: Not BS

Paul D. wrote us in about an unsolicited catalog he got from The Heifer Project, a charity that purports to send cows, chickens and goats to the third world. He’s skeptical: