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Animal Farms Are Pumping Up Superbugs

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-blame-napolean dept.

Medicine 551

oxide7 writes "The philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once famously said, 'That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.' That may or may not be true for human beings, but it is certainly true for bacteria. The superbugs are among us and they are not leaving. Indeed, they are growing stronger. 'The problem is that the animal agriculture industry makes massive use of low-dose antibiotics for growth promotion and in place of effective infection prevention methods,' Young said, adding that the farm animal population is much larger than the human population. The low-dose antibiotics do not kill the disease. They make the disease stronger, more resistant to those and other antibiotics. The animals — the cattle, pigs and chickens — thus treated become superbug factories. The diseases stay in them and they wash off them to infect the surrounding environment."

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551 comments

CUNTS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760250)

CUNTS CUNTS CUNTS CUNTS AHAHAHA LOL CUNTS no but really cunts yeh orius is a proper little cunts

hes

a

cunt

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760574)

Steaks taste better when you are bleeding out your eyes!

Re:CUNTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760810)

Heh, I'm from Marietta, GA. My roommate bought a registered pit bull a month ago, and it turned out to be pregnant. Well, a few nights ago, she had the pups. And last night, we were watching to be sure that the dog didn't roll over and smother any more pups while milking. And guess what one of the pups was latched onto instead of a nipple? ;)

Is this a news? (4, Interesting)

chiui (1120973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760300)

well known fact. And no regulation to stop it.

Re:Is this a news? (5, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760344)

The article is about proposed regulation stuck in committee to stop it. So apparently it's news for you at least.

Re:Is this a news? (1)

chiui (1120973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760468)

Ok, I should RTFA. But the summary told nothing about the actual news. Anyway it's good to know they are doing something.

Re:Is this a news? (2, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760726)

For very low values of something...

Re:Is this a news? (2, Insightful)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760428)

Congress is too busy regulating rulers and paperclips in Science kits.

Re:Is this a news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33761042)

Oh? There's regulations. The regulations are for the opposite of stopping such things. Outlawing Organic Farms (tagging every animal), Outlaw Organic Gardens, Take over the Codex, adding fluoride to water, corn syrup instead of sugar, the gulf of mexico bio warfare test, irradiation, dangerous vaccines, take your pick.

we are being made sick to slowly die, and the people in charge are at fault

If you have corexit and oil in your body, you need mental health. If you go to mental health, you'll never own a gun again.
Flash Traders biting like sharks on life savings while masturbating to porn, and getting high.
The next regulations will fix the web (by killing it), and Fix the prices of your food, gas to be double for everything.
While paper money will be worth about a tenth, but with civil breakdown nothing will matter.
Police are militarized and programmed with unconstitutional instructions.

This is corruption
Pretend at your own peril.

But if you feel so confident, why not buy some stocks?

I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotics (4, Interesting)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760312)

How about we feed the animals the foods they were DESIGNED to eat (i.e. Feed Cows GRASS, Not Corn). Yes, the grass might cost more but you wouldn't need to pump them full of antibiotics.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (5, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760374)

How about we feed the animals the foods they were DESIGNED to eat

Even better, feed them the food they have EVOLVED to eat.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760480)

Evolution is an automated design process with a more complete specification than manual engineering. It also works on economies and societies, though to get results you want you have to add impedances; governments seem to instead want to add a complete set of impedances to precisely engineer a society, and of course this fails.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

chiui (1120973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760668)

That's why laws should change according to pressure from citizens (environment), which is what often, but not always, happens :)

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760484)

How about we feed the animals the foods they were DESIGNED to eat

Even better, feed them the food they have EVOLVED to eat.

Lick my balls and call me Sally, you fundamentalist liberal tool.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760488)

Their design by evolution... stop being fucking pedantic you know what he meant.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

TheStatsMan (1763322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760670)

The thing about evolution and genetics is that there are tradeoffs. For instance, we're probably breeding cows to maximize meat production (size and muscle mass genes). This isn't free - more mass means sacrifices are made in other areas, perhaps the immune system is one area which loses effectiveness because of genetic factors related to breeding larger cows.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760784)

That isn't quite how it works.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

ThatOtherGuy435 (1773144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760804)

Generally speaking, it's not a weak immune system that causes the abundance of bacteria in food animals - it's the knee-deep fecal matter in their pens.

The mad cow disease outbreak was caused by feeding the parts that didn't get put into ground beef into the feed for other cows. Now, they're banned from that... instead they feed the bits of any other species into the cow feed, and vis-versa.

If you really want motivation to switch to grass-fed beef, do a little research into commercial meat farming. It's terrifying.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760928)

Someone is bound to say something like; No, No, No, the dollar is god and I have god and I love business greed and greed is god. I have two gods see and we need to do this because my gods will die if not. Support business since business is the good guys and blah blah blah. IMHO, yes feed them grass and I don't care about your stank profits. Down with garbage business practices!

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760412)

You'd still have to pump them full of antibiotics.
The environment they are in tends to be pretty bad due to trying to pack as many animals together as possible to increase profit by lowering costs.

Doubtless having animals eat the kinds of food they should actually be eating would help the situation some, though, as it would remove some of the needs for antibiotics and artificial diet balancers.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760506)

so stop packing as many as you can in as tightly as possible...

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (2, Insightful)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760536)

If you would have RTFA, you would realize that the animals are being pumped full of antibiotics to increase size, not to keep them disease free.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (3, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760566)

The reason it increases their size is because it keeps them disease-free.

Livestock stressed by illness don't grow as fast.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760896)

So, an environmental engineer absentmindedly decided it was worth keeping the disease and getting rid of the stress? I'm not sure legislation will work very well on this. For example, you can't legislate that the hole in the ozone layer go away, it just doesn't work like that. I didn't read the article, but, the legislation actually has to work. Does it?

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760568)

Animals weren't DESIGNED in the first place.

Though I guess we are in the process of designing cows to eat corn, though it'd be faster if we used fewer antibiotics...

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760584)

How about we feed the animals the foods they were DESIGNED to eat (i.e. Feed Cows GRASS, Not Corn). Yes, the grass might cost more but you wouldn't need to pump them full of antibiotics.

How, exactly, does feeding them grass instead corn require the need to 'pump them full of antibiotics'?

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760630)

Well, unfortunately, the family farmer who raises livestock is pretty much controlled by the corporations that contract the animals to him/her. On corporate farms they pretty much don't give a damn about conditions of the livestock so it's a non-issue to them. And, it's pretty hard to have grazed livestock when you have them in pens only large enough to stand in.

The problems of superbugs in livestock are old news to farmers (or agriculture geeks like myself), and any farmer that is grazing his/her herds currently probably doesn't use continous dosages of antibiotics.

It's in this issue that we start moving into economics and market forces. Americans demand cheap meet sources, and chemical science has seen that happen. It's not good for anyone involved, but as long as everyone can have meat on the table each night its not likely to change.

Awareness is very low on these issues. Watch the movie Fresh (http://www.freshthemovie.com/) to get a very well rounded view of modern corporate agriculture and people who do it differently. Very eye opening.

Buy organic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760652)

This is one of the many reasons I try to buy organic whenever possible. Animals (including human beings) evolved on mother nature, not synthetic chemicals and antibiotics. They are designed to eat what mother nature provides, and therefore perform best in that configuration.

For all that technology and science have to offer -- and I love technology and science -- I firmly believe that food is best left to mother nature. Food created in line with mother nature just plain tastes better, it's healthier, and it doesn't muck up the environment. I'm not saying we should do away with advanced farming techniques; what I'm saying is that synthetic chemicals have no place on my dinner plate.

Re:Buy organic (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760912)

Too bad that "organic" is an overloaded term with not clear definition, especially in the realm of the food industry.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760700)

False.

They put antibiotics in animals regardless of their feed. And they have good reason to do so. Grass/Corn debate is crap.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760806)

I like that idea, that's why I don't buy food from animals that have antibiotics used on them. You can too, though you'll have to ignore the people who criticize you for choosing how you spend your money.

Re:I have an idea to stop the need for anti-biotic (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760882)

Kill the corn subsidies and it will no longer be cost effective to use it as feed. Frankly, its not actually cheaper. Its just that we pay for part of it with our taxes.

It is all your fault (1, Insightful)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760332)

As a vegetarian.... Actually, you know, I can't think what to write next. But I guess it doesn't matter because my smugness will get all of you going whatever I say next...

Re:It is all your fault (2)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760388)

I'm vegan, if you drink milk you're still supporting it ;)

Anyhow, afaik cows and such don't get antibotics for no reason over here in Sweden. Sure if they get sick (I don't know how that affect slaughter though, don't know if you sell the meat if they are on drugs.)

So it's an american (and most likely others) thing.

May be more needed in really small boxes where you can't move at all and everyone is closer to eachother and so on.

Re:It is all your fault (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760486)

I live in a self-sustaining vegan-only village. If you do any business with meat-eaters, you're still supporting it.

Re:It is all your fault (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760708)

All my dollar bills carries anthrax ;)

While you probably isn't for real I somewhat agree with the not so real you :D

I to hate to buy my goods at stores which also sell animal-derived products.

There's not many alternatives though :)

Re:It is all your fault (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760754)

haha, antibiotics get into plants too, so the jokes on you.

I have no idea why you hate cows and want the them exterminated. Sounds pretty mean to me~

Re:It is all your fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760518)

As a vegetarian....

Actually, you know, I can't think what to write next. But I guess it doesn't matter because my smugness will get all of you going whatever I say next...

Agriculture started with vegetables. This is all your fault. Hunting and gathering would be, by far, healthiest for the planet as a whole, not rows of organic veggies.

Re:It is all your fault (fyi this is a joke) (4, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760776)

You vegetarians want to save the animals, but we carnivores are doing our part to cut down on this superbug problem. If we listened to you vegetarians, these animal farms would be a huge drain on the economy, raising animals for no practical use, and the animal population would spiral out of control. Stop shifting the blame and take responsibility to this disaster you're creating.

Re:It is all your fault (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760814)

As a vegetarian, you barely have the energy to type a short message, so we all appreciate you dropping by.

Re:It is all your fault (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760884)

As a vegetarian....
 
You did notice the article is about vegetarians used as a food source?

Re:It is all your fault (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33761026)

You don't make friends with salad.

- Homer Simpson

Animal Farms Are Pumping Up Superbugs (1)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760342)

"All bugs are equal but some bugs are more equal than others." -- Something George Orwell almost wrote.

Why not... (-1, Offtopic)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760348)

First vegan to post!

Why is this news? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760352)

I've been trying to influence politicians on this issue for at least a decade. Feeding antibiotics to healthy farm animals is one of the several ways that the human species is trying to commit suicide, and if a /. reader wasn't previously aware of the issue you need to spend less time on /, and more time learning about the world we live in.

Outbreak 2 starring Dustin Hoffman (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760358)

"It came from the cows"

What about... (2, Insightful)

chiui (1120973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760392)

using no antibiotics and killing the diseased animals? In the long rung they would get superanimals :)

Rage (1)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760396)

Rage virus. Here it comes.

Growth? What? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760410)

Can someone explain to me how giving animals antibiotics promotes growth of the animals?

Re:Growth? What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760558)

Simple! If you don't use antibiotics, many in your herd will die. Dead animals don't grow.

Re:Growth? What? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760562)

Probably by supplementing their immune system so less energy is devoted to fighting or recovering from sickness and more can be directed into muscle growth. A sick animal isn't going to pack on weight like a "healthy" one. Just stressing some animals can weight loss.

Re:Growth? What? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760648)

Animals that are sick do not grow as fast, and possibly not as much in total, as healthy animals.

Re:Growth? What? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760654)

The antibiotics kill of bacteria that otherwise the animals immune system would have to deal with.

That immune system would use valuable energy that could instead be used to growing more meat.

Re:Growth? What? (1)

alanthenerd (639252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760706)

Because otherwise they would be slaughtered which tends to impede further growth?

Re:Growth? What? (2, Informative)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760788)

Nobody knows for certain, but it does work. (If it didn't work, agribusiness wouldn't be spending so much money on it.) It's probably that it's normal for animals to get bacterial infections, and while they are fighting them, they aren't eating and growing as much. If you can eliminate most of those infections, they will just grow without interruption, meaning they will grow bigger over the same time period.

Well... no (2, Informative)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760792)

Actually, while there are a lot of theories (some of which are discussed in other responses), no one really knows why. It's not really curing any disease... antibiotics make even healthy animals grow faster. So actual answer to your question is no, no one can really explain this.

Re:Growth? What? (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760842)

They help animals digest there food more efficiently. For example, about 5% of the food a pig eats would normally lost to the bacteria in the digestive tracks.

Re:Growth? What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760908)

Well, see, if, per the shill in TFA, it's ineffective, then it doesn't. However, what it does is prevent a huge fraction of the infections, which means that in large herds, you have an infection rate that's 2 orders of magnitude lower. Since you can't sell 4-D animals for meat (dead, diseased, dying or difigured) that means that your herd grows much faster, since you lose a lot fewer animals.

As for the "bugs wash off" argument, well, the shill posing as a scientist obviously is unaware of where bacterial infections exist. They don't "wash off". This whole article is a press release masquerading as environmental journalism. Oh by the way, if you're a meat eater, do you want the cow to have antibiotics, or do you want to take the chance?

Re:Growth? What? (2, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33761048)

Watch a documentary or two. Animals raised in an environment where they aren't exposed to typical bugs don't develop the same strong immune system as animals exposed to these things since birth. Imagine you were born in a box and lived your whole life in that box. After some time your immune system would become suppressed and you would need this stuff to survive.

This reminds me of a study I once read about (I think it was done in Germany) where they looked at the immune systems of children raised on farms and were regularly exposed to livestock. They compared this to the immune systems of children raised in an urban setting and found that kids who grow up with regular exposure to animals had a stronger immune system. Same concept.

I like to eat animals, but it is troubling to know the truth about how they are raised. I feel fortunate to live in a region where it is possible to raise animals in a less manufactured way.

Um, then stop it! (0, Flamebait)

Paul Bristow (118584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760432)

Seriously, if we are so stupid that we can't see how dangerous this is for our species we deserve to be wiped out in a horrendous antibiotic resistant plague.

Oh, wait...

###### no carrier ######

Re:Um, then stop it! (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760736)

People are blindly following the sciences, and that's a huge problem.

What's happened in our country (world...) is pretty simple. Religion and spirituality is a form of science: we observe things, we attribute them to hypothesis. Thus people imagine gods and spirits to control the various functions of the world. Eventually science evolves to explore the physical world as a set of causes and effects, which improves understanding of spiritual issues (meditation etc) and physical issue, but people still don't dismiss their religions.

Then the scientific process gets invented.

Now people have a more structured set of rules to attribute their beliefs to. So they begin gnawing at issues of spirituality, then striking religion completely. Then they cheer, and continue to advance science. They see the benefits this brings, and start fervently advancing the sciences "to improve life."

And then it happens.

People scientifically find a cause and effect. They see it, they like it, they use it.

They forget to make grander scale considerations.

Everything is a simple, defined process now. Science showed us that using antibiotics somehow (who knows how?) causes an increase in animal growth. We don't know or care why, but it works. We'll do that, and the law of unintended consequences be damned because imaginary "possible consequences" are right up there with imaginary "possible gods."

Blinded by faith to blinded by science.

(I'm more of a balanced sort... I'm a little bitter over our species' huge swing from wildly religious to wildly scientific. We've abandoned all spirituality for technology, and in the process abandoned all reason in the name of ... well ... reason. Thus goes morality, and with it honor and civility; people don't believe in gods OR any such thing as karma or spiritual health, so they're disinclined to put themselves at risk for someone else since there's no profit in it. Meanwhile they blindly look for ways to get technology to give them instant, perfect results for whatever they want, money, power, clean dishes... so much greed and so little patience... where's the middle ground? Where's the benefit when we've went from worshipping gods in the sky to gods of steel and glass?)

no shocker (4, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760442)

I mean, anyone who has not had their head stuck in the ground for the past 30 years should be well aware of the whole antibiotics/superbug issue. The only possible exceptions being the evolution deniers and, I bet even many of them have some twisted concept that reconciles their philosophy with superbugs.

However, I was reading that there is a new class of antibiotics in development, which are based on immune system antigens and, for some reason (anyone know more?) are thought to, because of their mechanism of action, not be susceptible to the same problem of evolving the bacteria to survive them.

I don't know if its true or how they work but, if the article I saw a while back is right, then, they could be useful here. Then again, this just seems like a bad idea overall.

-Steve

Re:no shocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760632)

I am a firm believer in evolution and being at the top of the tier I say bring them on. For innumerable years we have evolved side by side with such bugs, we gained a distinct advantage recently - they are adapting as they would have eventually anyway. Those worthy of life will live, those unworthy won't.

Re:no shocker (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760790)

Or perhaps those with enough money?
Being in an unequal society, if a major bacteria goes around killing people, the rich will isolate themselves and have a lower death toll when compared to the common man simply due to the resources they have and nothing to do with overcoming the bacteria more than the common man.

The idea of the survival of the fittest isn't quite the same in humanity due to having to factor in wealth into the equation.
Personally, I'm a firm believer that wealth doesn't make one the fittest.

Re:no shocker (2, Interesting)

llamapater (1542875) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760752)

that sounds like it could go very wrong if bacteria evolves to counter that and it mimics the bodies natural immune system we as a species may well be fucked

Re:no shocker (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760848)

actually We should "rest" antibiotic then the superbugs should loose their resistance. Since their will be no evolutionary pressure to maintain resistance it should reduce over time.
Part of the problem is that we then start giving them to farm animals because they are cheap.

Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (4, Interesting)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760444)

Occasionally I get to drive by a huge corporate cattle ranch while on a trip; the animal's living conditions are deplorable. No shade in a hot arid climate, and hardly enough room to move around, they pack as many animals into a corral as possible. They stand all day in wet muddy shit, costs too much to provide land to roam and people to round them up.

In my opinion, this exemplifies what is wrong with unabashed Capitalism. Who cares what happens, just make us more money now, is a philosophy ultimately doomed to failure. Time to get smart.

Re:Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760732)

Actually, it is not what is wrong with Capitalism. This is what is called an externality [wikipedia.org] . Basically a unaccounted for benefit or cost. The role of government is to see things like this that the market cannot account for and be sure to tax or regulate according to the cost.

It isn't terribly difficult. The problem is we have the right with their Pavlovian "Government is bad" chant, and the left which wants to micromanage. You then have the majority of the population which doesn't really understand economics and just listens to their favorite commentator think for them.

Re:Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (2, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760772)

I don't understand what this has to do with Capitalism. Can you describe some other type of economy that would not result in the same outcome? The real problem is that efficiency in cattle ranching is at odds with your sense of decent living conditions for these animals. Any system that rewards efficiency and does not adequately protect the animals will have this outcome. The solution is to regulate how animals are treated and their living conditions. Or, at the very least, have a certification and labeling program to allow consumers the option of only purchasing from ranches that meet their personal standards.

Re:Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760828)

When the first superbug from these farms crosses species, strikes the human population, and kills millions via the food chain in the form of disease or starvation, the problem with moral-free, unabashed capitalism will probably clear itself up pretty quickly - for better or worse.

Re:Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760844)

In my opinion, this exemplifies what is wrong with unabashed Capitalism. Who cares what happens, just make us more money now, is a philosophy ultimately doomed to failure. Time to get smart.

You mean the system where the masses of buyers determine the conditions by their implicit support of them? Yeah, we need a system that achieves something better despite the masses preferring the current approach.

Re:Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (3, Informative)

llZENll (545605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33761004)

Food Inc [foodincmovie.com] I watched it last year and made the switch to eating about 95% organic ever since. I tell people we are in the FOOD MATRIX right now, everyone is, when I go to a normal grocery store now all I see are the green 1 and 0s of the matrix code on the isle shelves, except instead of 1s and 0s they are processed corn, soy, and wheat lol. If people only knew, or cared to know. Watch this movie and you will know some of it, its sad, but you can help change it. Sadly it takes a long time as the mass market of buying is the uneducated, and getting this message to them is very hard.

Re:Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33761036)

Amazingly enough, Prince Charles has actually said a few things over the years that are actually quite smart. The idea that towns will function better if there's a well-defined center is sound. The idea that people prefer buildings to look good, as well as function well, is obvious. In this particular debate, he has been slammed on all sides but again appears to have made some valid points - it is possible to farm economically AND be ecologically sound. The two do not have to be in conflict.

Not sure about the cost-effectiveness of this one-man think-tank, but the topics he has ventured into are generally controversial and the corporations he's been battling are too big for most campaigns to be effective against.

Re:Corporate Farming and Capitalist Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33761060)

What you are seeing is a lousy operation. Cattle under pressure, (insufficient shelter, bedding, room) tend to get sick or injured more easily, can be more aggressive to handlers and each other, and don't gain weight optimally. Profitable cattle operations have healthy happy cattle,...
Also antibiotics cost money, they are used when necessary and cost effective, not used constantly,...

Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760460)

How is this legal? If my dog gets sick I need a vet to get antibiotics, I can't just go buy them OTC can I? why can these companies abuse antibiotics?

Re:Legal? (1)

rale, the (659351) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760744)

You can buy antibiotics for animals OTC: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ALFCIO/ [amazon.com]

Same stuff you'll get from a pharmacy with a prescription.

Re:Legal? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760854)

Yes, you can just buy them OTC (at least, in the U.S.).

Re:Legal? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33761018)

If my dog gets sick I need a vet to get antibiotics, I can't just go buy them OTC can I?
 
Yes, in north america and europe but I was in China a few years ago and they sold pretty strong antibiotics OTC. They just recently stopped doing that somewhat; now the person behind the counter has to listen to you list your symptoms first and write a prescription on the spot. Everyone there keeps plenty of antibiotics in stock at home and will take it for a day or two when they have a fever. They're creating superbugs pretty fast there, too.

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33761080)

In NZ for example it is very very illegal and we don't do it. So buy better beef, by NZ beef... Oh sorry Americans hate our grass feed beef.

1) buy out local traditional family farms (1)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760478)

2) transfer livestock to condensed acre-sized feed lots with barely enough room for animals to move
3) pipe sewage to huge waste ponds, then spew it out onto open ground. To hell with the neighbors who complain about the smell
4) feed livestock said antibiotics to increase production.
5) slaughter livestock, grind up by products, then feed to other livestock.
5) profit!

Re:1) buy out local traditional family farms (2, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760974)

<quote>5) slaughter livestock, grind up by products, then feed to other livestock.</quote>

That bit also happens unhygienically - very often the animal feces and bacteria get splattered everywhere contaminating the meat.

Then the consumers are told to cook everything properly, and if stuff happens, it's the consumer's fault, not agribusiness fault...

I've heard of a case where they dunk all the chicken in the same water after removing the feathers, and naturally that mixes and spreads all the bacteria and gunk from all chickens...

Big buisness doesn't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760492)

From what I can see, all our business leaders care about is excessive affluence. Their greed has corrupt and polluted the entire biosphere. In my opinion, these are crimes against humanity. I also believe the justice system is too corrupt and ineffective, and is unable deal with this problem. So we're probably going to be doomed by the upper class's greed and stupidity.

Superdocument'em (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760504)

and call it a day.

Another quote (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760542)

George Orwell, while researching one of his books, famously said "All animals are equal, but-- HOLY SHIT IS THAT CAR A FUCKING MOSQUITO?!?!!!!!11"

I work cattle part-time. It's a real threat. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760572)

The usual anti-biotics we used was from a Pfizer product labeled LA-200 and it is expensive at around $140 every 5-ounces: about 1/4 ounce is used for a 350lb cow when we find one with a puncture wound or laceration. I've talked with smaller family farms on what they use on their animals to prevent infections and fight infections and it's always been a simple herbal formula consisting of crushed garlic mixed with crushed black walnut and applied as a paste that is more effective than Pfizer LA-200. Ive tried this same organic mix on fungal infections on my forearms and llower legs and it works better than the expensive tube pastes from convenience stores.

What I find unsettling about LA-200 is that many of the cowboys equally take a smaller dosage by the same needle (before using on the cows though) because it's practically the same as what they would've been given from an HMO but much less expense.

This doesn't bother me (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760580)

Think about all the people who don't get vaccines for one reason or another (Jenny McCarthy's hysteria for example). While the low-dose antibiotics are making the bugs stronger, they kill off the weak and infirm of our population, making the overall herd that much stronger.

Evolution at it's best!

I am not a vegetarian, but we need to reduce (5, Interesting)

dominion (3153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760590)

I am not a vegetarian, but we need to reduce our meat consumption. I'll never be a vegetarian, I'm too fond of my Sicilian-American culinary traditions, but two things need to happen: First, we need to reduce the amount of meat we consume, and we need to consume better meat when we do. This diet that America has of eating a big bucket of meat and cheese from Denny's is just ridiculous, and it's killing us on multiple fronts.

I try to follow a basic plan: Vegan (or Vegetarian) before 6pm. I try and make sure the meat I do eat for dinner is high quality. I pay a little extra for it, but the savings throughout the day balance out. There are other types of diets that would be great for reducing meat consumption without any of us thinking we're suddenly living off of soy and wheat germ. Eating smaller portions of meat, but still using it for flavoring, for instance. Even just getting the idea in our heads that we shouldn't eat meat for every single meal.

Factory farming has got to go, it's horrible on so many fronts. I'm not a foodie, and I don't have vegan super powers, and I recognize that people are on a budget, and can't shop for organic at whole foods (hell, I can't afford to, and I have a decent job). But we have to figure some kind of practical way forward, because we can't keep packing animals in to dark crates, standing in their own filth and pumping them full of drugs and then call that dinner.

Re:I am not a vegetarian, but we need to reduce (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760850)

I don't understand why vegetarians use meat substitutes and consume, as you say, soy and wheat germ. There are plenty of vegetarian (and nearly vegan) cultures that have delicious food.

I eat a lot of beef and pork on a regular basis and still don't come close to the national average for meat consumption, which is pretty disturbing.

Re:I am not a vegetarian, but we need to reduce (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33761006)

People need to be educated n how much meat they need a day. It's not really that much.

Factory farming is a very efficient way to feed a lot of people. It does not, and can not. go away. That doesn't mean it can't be improved.

'Organic' food is a marketing scam. In most cases its more harmful, in the best cases its more expensive for less food.
Meaning if you used to pay 25 cents for and apple, and organic apples will be 35 cents, and 20% smaller then the 25 cents apples and still be using the SAME chemicals.

Look, factory farms, and corporate farms, or what ever fear mongers term people want to use these days want the same thing we all want:
The want sustainable land,
The want reliable food,
The want a good product.

All of the things we want also make them money.

A side effect to these fine initiatives (1)

ExtraT (704420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760620)

Unfortunately, the problem is not in a particular case(s) of misuse, but in the generally low professionalism of medical professionals.

For example, here in Canada it has become increasingly difficult to get an antibiotic prescription. Doctors fight tooth and nail when it comes to antibiotics, and as a result, a lot of people get treated late.

I think the situation is best described by an old russian proverb: Make a fool pray, and he'll crack his forehead.

gah. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760622)

It's not the 'animal agricultural industry'. It's a bad farming practice. Your phrase implies it only happen in large corporate farms.

Also, proper application and disposal removes this issue.Almost all the antibiotics exit the animals in using or feces.

Frankly, slightly more expensive beef might be a good thing.

buy organic (2, Informative)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760624)

It will be a long time before Congress acts, if ever. But you can protect yourself and make things better by buying meat from "organically" raised animals: animals that were raised without antibiotics and without having been raised in factory farms. Note that the "organic" label itself may be misleading depending on what you are and who uses it, so check more carefully what it means for that particular product (the label usually says it if they did go through the trouble of doing the right thing). You should also probably avoid genetically modified animals, foods, and feeds, not because the genetic modifications are harmful (usually they are not), but because many genetic modifications are intended just to enable bad and dangerous farming practices. Both of these are in your own interest (not just socially good things to do) because you yourself may run a higher risk of infection with a resistant strain if you eat animals raised on antibiotics.

Re:buy organic (2, Informative)

ThatOtherGuy435 (1773144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760962)

Most places in the country have Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and it well behooves one to look into these.

I get about 15-25lbs of fresh produce, locally grown by a group of Amish farmers, every week - and it costs me about $15/wk and a half hour on Saturday running up to the local farmer's market to pick it up. Some places have the same kind of thing for grass-fed beef and (genuinely) free range chicken, and occasionally pork too.

Friedrich Nietzsche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760634)

'nuff said

Nietzsche FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760644)

So do we extend the summaries analogy to his views on gender and race?

And this is news how? (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33760658)

Seriously, researchers have warned for years that using antibiotics in this way is a bad idea. It is also true for human patients, distributing antibiotics like candies tends to have the same effect. People use them too often or do not complete the treatment and the strongest bugs get selected and can happily repopulate an environment now void of competition.

This is better than news, it's important news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760864)

People are complaining that this is not news. Clearly not enough people know or at least care about this, since if enough people did, the fix is obviously to ban this way of using antibiotics. Also, to ban the prescription of antibiotics when unnecessary or even completely ineffective (viral infections such as the common cold). That these steps have not been taken show that not enough people know or understand this issue, so to those people it must be news. So it is news to some, even if it isn't to others, and it's important news.

humans are better, so are your kitchen sinks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33760870)

Fear the human factories that consistently fail at completing antibotic regimens prescribed by a physician. Peeps get pissy and whine about how they feel on them, don't complete the therapy, and leave behind only the strongest of the bacteria in their bodies. When it comes back (and it will) it will only be worse, and your prescription will be less effective and you'll be more pissy cuz you'll need something stronger. Oh, and not to mention the antibacterial soap that is effectively doing the same thing in sewage and storm drains.. yum!

dont worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33761000)

it's a good thing we humans steer clear of antibiotic overuse. Oh, wait...

The "superbugs" aren't stronger (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#33761084)

The summary gets one thing wrong. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are not stronger than those that are nor antibiotic resistant. As a matter of fact they are weaker. Generally, the way that bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics is by shutting down the cellular mechanism that the antibiotic uses to get into the cell. However, that cellular mechanism serves a useful function in the cell (usually to bring nutrients into the bacterial cell). When antibiotic resistant bacteria are in an environment without antibiotics they generally die off over a relatively short time-span. This is why currently most infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria occur in hospitals.
That being said, excessive use of antibiotics is still a bad thing.
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