We have a grave public health situation that involves antibiotic resistant bacteria found in our animal feed supplies. According to the Center for Food Safety an astounding 30 million pounds of antibiotics are sold each year to the animal agriculture industry. These sales make up 80 percent of all antibiotic sales.
These antibiotics aren’t used for the treatment of sick animals; no they are used to speed up the growth of poultry and livestock so animal farm operations can get livestock to market earlier and cheaper.
We know that the FDA has been slow to enforce regulations and only call for a voluntary slow down of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animals; even though this governmental agency knows that there is a grave risk to our health and well-being. This is like the fox guarding the hen-house, it isn't going to happen!
Now we are facing a new batter, someone who happen upon the scene in recent years, corn ethanol producers. Many ethanol plants use antibiotics to kill bacteria in the production process. In the United States the byproduct is often sold to farmers as a food source for cattle, chickens, turkeys and swine.
So now we have livestock being treated with non-therapeutic antibiotics and extra antibiotics from the feed that farmers buy from the corn ethanol industry which equals a double whammy for the consumer.
There is one ray of hope left for farmers, Poet, the world’s largest ethanol producer stopped using antibiotics in their fermenting vats in August 2011. Poet produces over 1.9 billion gallons of ethanol and 9 billion pounds of byproducts without antibiotics in their 27 plants every year. Though all other ethanol producers continue using antibiotics even though Poet has shown the feasibility for not using antibiotics.
There is a definite lack of regulation by the FDA. According to the Center of Food Safety, the FDA is slow to take action against the ethanol companies and do not regulate the use and marketing of antibiotics in ethanol, nor do they regulate the sale of antibiotic byproducts from ethanol, even though they should. Antibiotics are drugs and should be regulated closely.