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Objections Over Antibiotic Approved for Use in Cattle

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that's-a-human-drug-right-there dept.

Politics 253

An anonymous reader writes "The Washington post reports that the FDA is expected to approve the marketing of the new antibiotic called Cefquinome for use in cattle. This is over objections of the American medical association, the FDA advisory board and the World Health Organization. Cefquinome is from a class of highly potent 'last line of defense' antibiotics for several serious human infections. It is feared that large scale use in cattle will allow bacteria to develop a resistance to these drugs. This news follows complaints from the FDA that it is no longer getting the funds needed to do the research required for the desired level of food safety."

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... and the mad cow goes, Moooooooooo (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228148)

... and the mad cow goes, Moooooooooo

Re:... and the mad cow goes, Moooooooooo (0)

Retric (704075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228226)

Simply put this is a honorably bad idea that will cost 10,000 to 100,000 human lives over the next 30 years.

Re:... and the mad cow goes, Moooooooooo (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228908)

I believe you mispelled "Horribly". And Yes, It is.

Re:... and the mad cow goes, Moooooooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228922)

"honorably bad idea"

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Huh? (4, Informative)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228984)

BSE ("mad cow" disease) is thought to be caused by prions, not bacteria, last I knew. In other words, this antibiotic has nothing to do with it.

That said, this is positively horrible that we're wasting a potent, last-line-of-defense antibiotic on cows. Why can't they use the antibiotics to which there's already a lot of resistance, anyhow, instead of wasting this one? I mean, you can just shoot a sick cow and dispose of it. I sincerely hope they're not suggesting we do that with sick people.

When that many doctor's organizations are opposing this, it makes you wonder how the hell they can be expected to approve it. Well, okay, I admit to not wondering that much. In the end, I have to think that it all has everything to do with little slips of paper with green ink on them and not very much to do with medicine.

This goes beyond idiocy (5, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228182)

This goes beyond idiocy... This is blatant pandering to the cattle lobby at the expense of our health. Everyone of us who might one day get MRSA, or flesh-eating disease...

Any increased use of these drugs, especially on bacteria present in the food supply, is asking for disaster. When a federal agency start making bad decisions for corporate lobbyists that will cost real lives, it's time for heads to roll.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (2, Insightful)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228206)

just like the problems with madcow testing
the beef industry is throwing our safety out the window for immediate profits.
of course when people start keeling over from madcow the panic is going to be so fierce that people will stop eating beef altogether.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228258)

I have, largely for environmental reasons, but there are other reasons to. I still like meat dishes, so I think that Boca Burger/Morningstar/Gardenburger kick ass! Morningstar crumblers(ground beef substitute) tacos are actually quite tasty. Just take the crumblers, warm them up, put the same seasoning that you would put on beef/chicken tacos(ie that powerder stuff you can get for 50 cents a bag) and make the rest of the taco the same. I have been eating these at least once a week for months.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228526)

Or at least work harder at sourcing it. There is a fair amount of 'grass fed' beef available, as long as you are willing to buy a lot at once, and aren't too lazy to go about finding. So far I have been, but there are definitely more and more motivators.

I would be surprised to see people stop eating beef because of mad cow though. The only short term measure that will reduce consumption is likely to be an environmental impact tax.

Time to go organic (3, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229130)

the beef industry is throwing our safety out the window for immediate profits.

While I agree that the motive is profit, I don't really understand why the industry is moving that way. Organic Beef is $14 per pound vs $6 per pound for the chemistry set beef. Surely there is just as much profit to be made with improved quality, vs cheaper production.

Idiots. (3, Insightful)

Philomathie (937829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228416)

What a total blunder. This "last line of defence" anti-biotics are not used in medicine for the very same reason they should NOT be used in these cattle: if we use them on any large scale before we need them then the bacteria will become resistant to one of our last defences against that particular bacterium strain. If there was a mass epidemic for one reason or the other before the resistant strain was prevalent, we could have used our back up antibiotic to effectively contain it - but if this goes through we lose that last line of defence as the antibiotic would most likely be useless against this new resistant bacteria.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (4, Insightful)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228426)

But, but, what you propose would interfere with that most holy of holies --- the Free Market. Please, won't someone think of the stockholders? A few million lives is a small price to pay for corporate megabucks and a strong economy. Fnord.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (4, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228568)

The free market fails in the face of uncompensated externalities.

"A few million lives" for "megabucks" won't produce a strong economy anyway. In an economic analysis, you *can* put a price on human lives - but that price is well over the couple hundred bucks each this statement implies at maximum.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

Toba82 (871257) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229082)

Tragedy of the commons at its worst.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228764)

I'll start by saying that I know you are being sarcastic.

I cannot stand people who use that defense when they are perfectly willing to take government subsidies, tax breaks, corporate bail-outs, and any number of other forms of assistance. If this were a free market, most of the pharmaceutical execs would have been strung out by market forces long ago.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (2, Insightful)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229224)

Don't forget the entire concept of "intellectual property". It always amazes me to hear the number of peole who will defend copyright/patent/trademark as being "free market".

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228488)

MRSA, or flesh-eating disease...

      Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is not the same as "flesh eating disease" - or necrotizing fasciitis. Flesh eating disease is usually caused by either Streptococcus pyogenes or Clostridium perfringens, two VERY different bugs.

      MRSA usually causes extremely resistant infections (usually in the lungs or an iv catheter site) that progress to bateremia, sepsis and death. Not the same as "flesh eating disease" which is an infection that progresses rapidly along the fascia (usually in a limb) until it ends up compromising an important area (abdomen, thorax, etc).

      I agree that this is a silly move on behalf of the FDA, however.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (3, Interesting)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228896)

I had three MRSA infections in a period of about 6 month until they killed everything in my nose. I have 2 penny sized scars from the cuts that got infected and a smaller one on my jawline. I took them in early and was given intravenous antibiotics twice and then 2 antibiotics on the other one. The third one was on the back of my leg and it got me really sick. Scary shit. Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't MRSA a blanket term for like 10 or 15 strains of resistant bacteria?

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (2, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229298)

Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't MRSA a blanket term for like 10 or 15 strains of resistant bacteria?


      No, it's a specific term: Methicillin resistant Staph aureus. There are MANY multi-resistent bacteria in a hospital environment - both in the type of bacteria and the degree of resistance, but MRSA is quite specific.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229054)

MRSA, or flesh-eating disease...
I believe that was a list with the Oxford comma, rather than an appositive.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228506)

This is Bush. The Bush-Republican ideology of no government regulation is seen by the mismanagement of yet another Federal agency. It sickens me to see yet another Federal agency that has been doing a good job (FDA doing its thing for over 50 years and making us all safe, normally) is now taken over by Bush appointees who sell it out to the highest bidder (aka the privatization fever) (cf. FEMA) and then make decisions that prove what Bush wants to prove -- these agencies just can't work, we need to end government regulation. It is convenient when Bush is making this argument he neglects that it is his own (failed) policies that caused the problems in these government agencies to begin with (nice White House decision to lie to the people cleaning up ground zero in New York about the air quality).

Damaging the effectiveness of an important antibiotic in order to make some cattle a little bit bigger is a perfection reflection on the Bush ideology of governance. We are all paying for his mistakes, not least of which the hundreds of billions of dollars being funneled into private contractor's pockets to occupy the formerly sovereign country of Iraq.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228950)

these agencies just can't work, we need to end government regulation.

Er... Then we wouldn't have to worry about a corrupt government approving things like this, corporations could just do it on their own. Notice that this move probably came from the cattle lobby, meaning that the cattlemen wanted this. Without regulation they would have just done it, without even the defense of the increasingly broken regulatory process.

This, also, is not a mandate, meaning responsible beef people don't have to do it, only the irresponsible ones will. And probably, judging from our labeling laws, the consumer will never know.

If anything this is proof that we need to FIX our regulation scheme, make it sane and somewhat stronger. Corporate will, free from any intervention, would do things worse than this for the all mighty short-term profit. And we would never be the wiser, since labeling food as "this might lead to really nasty consequences 10 years down the road" would never be in the interest of the share-holders.

I fail to see the pro-free-market propaganda value in this little news item.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229218)

Damaging the effectiveness of an important antibiotic in order to make some cattle a little bit bigger is a perfection reflection on the Bush ideology of governance.

Since the potentially resulting super-resistant disease would be a global problem, I wonder if this could be censured by the UN. When you look at the probable outcome of long term use, it is not a far cry to label this as bioterrorism.

Time to appeal to the European Union (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228522)

Once the EU bans the import of all U.S. beef that's treated with these antibiotics (and hormones and all the other drugs that get used in our food supply) the resultant loss of income will force U.S. suppliers to change their ways. An appeal to Japan wouldn't hurt either.

In the meantime, do your part by making sure that "Beef is *not* what's for dinner".

Sad to say, these days the best recourse for the U.S. consumer might be to appeal to foreign governments. The current U.S. administration doesn't appear to have the average citizens' interests at heart.

Re:RTFA (3, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228696)

Page four, paragraph 3:

The statement also said that in Europe, fourth-generation cephalosporins similar to cefquinome have been used in animals for the past decade "without compromising the interests of public health."

Yet recent European data indicate that resistance against this class of antibiotics is on the rise.

Oooooops. (I do hope we manage to do a better job over on this side of the pond though, we aren't making new drugs fast enough to be this sloppy with the ones we have)

Re:Time to appeal to the European Union (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228766)

As far as I know, US beef is banned in Europe due to the use of growth hormones, and this has been the case for years.

In any case, being Irish, I'd seldom eat anything other than Irish beef, and restaurants etc. here now have to state the country of origin for meat on their menu. Although even places serving pretend food like McDonalds and BK used Irish beef already. Rare to see non-Irish beef sold except for processed food.

Re:Time to appeal to the European Union (1)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228794)

Once the EU bans the import of all U.S. beef that's treated with these antibiotics

See the last page of the article. Europe has been using this drug in animals for a decade, with a resulting rise in resistance.

Re:Time to appeal to the European Union (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228980)

Many thanks for pointing this out. I'll break with /. tradition and read to the end next time. ;-)

In any event, it just points out that we're screwed no matter where we live and that regulation isn't necessarily doing the job it should. Which was always the case given human mobility I suppose.

Between BSE, hormones and drugs it's increasingly looking like beef is *not* going to be on my dinner table. Not that the problem is confined to just beef. Animals might be tasty but these days they're not a necessary part of the diet.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228648)

This goes beyond idiocy...
Well, duh. What did you expect when you're dealing with an issue involving the Trifecta of Evil (TM): FDA (big-pharma-controlled instrument of government coercion), AMA (doctors' cartel), and the WHO (alarmist "world-improvers"--on your dime naturally).

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228788)

I'm not defending this ... [b]but[/b] to play devils advocate

For various reasons, Ranchers have been put into the situation where they have to have as many cattle as they can possibly have on a ranch in order to make a decent living; this means that a large portion of the livestock we will consume has been raised in an environment which has a high risk of disease. If we don't find and use better anti-biotics there will (eventually) be an outbreak of a new disease from people having consumed bad meat; much like BSE this disease may start to apear years after the initial consumption and (because it wasn't recognised in time) affect a massive portion of the population.

There is no good solution to this ...
You can eliminate the overcrowding in ranches but the price of your meat products will increase dramatically and foreign supplied meat (could) push your producers out of the market ...
You can continue to use the same anti-biotics and hope that new threats are not produced ...
And you can use the new anti-biotics and hope that nothing becomes resistant to them ...

that's why "last defense" should be for humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229230)

The scenario you've outlined is exactly why "last line of defense" medicines should be reserved for humans-only.

Any doctor doing infectious disease research knows that it is never a question of whether immunity to an antibiotic will be developed and simply a matter of when.

The choices are:
a) use the "last defense" antibiotics in cattle (alongside the 12 not-last-line antibiotics which currently are still very effective!) and pray that doctors can race fast enough to develop a whole new category of antibiotics (and that's mighty tough even when you aren't racing against the clock) before the drug-resistant bacteria develop and infect humans
or
b) continue using only the existing 12 not-last-line antibiotics in cattle so that when cattle-bred bacteria do infect humans you can cure the people using this "last defense" antibiotic.

You'd have to be an idiot (yes, the E.U. are idiots -- hadn't you noticed?) or cruel to use the "last line of defense" to save a cow's life or rancher's job instead of a human's life.

The sensible thing to do is withhold this antibiotic from animals until after doctors actually do develop a replacement "last line of defense".

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (0, Troll)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228850)

Who is to say that bacteria won't evolve defenses either way?

I think they should concentrate their resources on finding -new- antibiotics instead of worrying about what happens to the few that are known. It's a battle that can never be won, and folks should realize that it's better to continuously evolve (live on the edge, in a way) new defenses than to assume our current defenses are silver bullets.

Re:This goes beyond idiocy (3, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229088)

There are so many things wrong with this short post...

Who is to say that bacteria won't evolve defenses either way?

Natural selection isn't anywhere near as likely keep a random mutation which just happens to confer resistance to those drugs when the bacteria aren't being challenged by them. Whereas if they are being challenged with those drugs, drug resistance to them offers a HUGE survival benefit to the bacteria which have and keep this mutation.

The AMA understand this basic part of evolution which you and the Bush administration appear to be ignorant of.

I think they should concentrate their resources on finding -new- antibiotics instead of worrying about what happens to the few that are known. It's a battle that can never be won, and folks should realize that it's better to continuously evolve (live on the edge, in a way) new defenses than to assume our current defenses are silver bullets.

First of all the AMA doesn't have resources directed at finding new antibiotics. The NIH and pharmaceutical companies do.

The AMA does however understand the difficulties and slow pace of drug development. You apparently don't. Finding drugs which can knock out pathogens which also don't have any severe negative reactions acting within the human body is difficult. If they were easy to develop and plentiful we wouldn't already be dependent on a small number that we call a last line of defense against resistant bugs.

Damn those hypochondriac cattle (3, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228208)

I always said they would be the downfall of humanity.

Queer steers (-1, Flamebait)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228232)

Are they cured by this new wonder drug?

Spelling correction (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228250)

Shouldn't that be Calfquinome?

Funds (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228252)

Just don't approve anything. In about 6 months you'll get the funds you need.
A simple 'The citizens of the US our are primary concern. If it is not appropriatly tested to our satisfaction, it won't be ok'd.'

Tnhen they can use great lines like:
"You are condernced for the people of this country, right Senator?"

Time to spin it back.

Follow the money (5, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229280)

Just don't approve anything. In about 6 months you'll get the funds you need.
I don't think that would work:

September 30, 1980-- The Public Board of Inquiry concludes NutraSweet should not be approved pending further investigations of brain tumors in animals. The board states it "has not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive."

January 1981-- Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle [rense.com] , states in a sales meeting that he is going to make a big push to get aspartame approved within the year. Rumsfeld says he will use his political pull in Washington, rather than scientific means, to make sure it gets approved.

January 21, 1981-- Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United States. Reagan's transition team, which includes Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G. D. Searle, hand picks Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA Commissioner.

[...]
July 15, 1981-- In one of his first official acts, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr., the new FDA commissioner, overrules the Public Board of Inquiry, ignores the recommendations of his own internal FDA team and approves NutraSweet for dry products.

[...]
September, 1983-- FDA Commissioner Hayes resigns under a cloud of controversy about his taking unauthorized rides aboard a General Foods jet. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet) Burson-Marsteller, Searle's public relation firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet's major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior scientific consultant.

maybe the FDA should hang out on slashdot (0, Troll)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228270)

"the FDA that it is no longer getting the funds needed to do the research required for the desired level of food safety."

They could find everything they need to know without spending a buck. Some of it will be useful. Of course, they may as well carpool with the USPTO.

...FDA is expected to approve the marketing... (1)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228608)

Ok. So... how is approving "marketing" dis/similar to approving "use"? There has to be a difference...

Level? What level? (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228274)

This news follows complaints from the FDA that it is no longer getting the funds needed to do the research required for the desired level of food safety.

I'd say they are receiving sufficient funds to achieve the desired level of food safety. It's just that Congress has lowered the level.

Funds from where, I wonder... (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228676)

under the table?

Just don't eat meat (0, Troll)

pbailey (225135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228284)

Don't eat meat - problem solved :)

Re:Just don't eat meat (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228382)

You're missing the point.

It's not a fear that this antibiotic will have a negative effect on humans. The problem is that, by overusing this drug, it will lose its potency. Many antibiotics have already been rendered useless thanks to careless overuse, and this one has been deliberately set aside as a last resort. If cattle farmers are allowed to use this drug it will no longer be useful for treating human infections.

The FDA is in every single way destroying a cure for life-threatening diseases in order to fellate a bunch of worthless scum-sucking factory farmers. You should be outraged, not just avoiding meat.

Re:Just don't eat meat (4, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228390)

Nope. Problem not solved. Vegetarians will also suffer if and when diseases become resistant to these antibiotics because of overuse in the cattle industry.


Antibiotics should be banned for agricultural uses. It's putting all of us at risk so that a few can make a bigger profit.

Re:Just don't eat meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228748)

Problem not solved. But the fewer people eating meat , the less the demand for the factory-farms that produce this situation.

Re:Just don't eat meat (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228924)

To quote Friedman: By the time the market reacts we are all dead.

Re:Just don't eat meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228976)

Yes, its clear as a vegetarian that I'm screwed too.

Out of curiosity, if the cost of meat were raised to allow proper testing of beef products, would meat eaters accept it? I have been a vegetarian for a few years, but I think I personally would have been OK with it prior to my switch. It wouldn't be a bad thing for everyones health if red meat were a premium food and the population ate a little less. There are many other types of meat or heaven forbid a little soy in someones diet.

I'm not a PETA psycho and I didn't stop eating meat for any cause so I'm fine with others eating meat.

OK Dems, the ball is in your court . . . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228288)

Let's see if Pelosi and her "progressive" friends will turn a blind eye to this catastrophe in the making. Now that the Dems are back in the saddle, is it really "Bush's fault"?

Hey Pelosi, put down the botox for a moment, and do something for a change.

Re:OK Dems, the ball is in your court . . . (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228328)

Now that the Dems are back in the saddle, is it really "Bush's fault"?

It's cute that you think there's a significant difference between the two parties.

Re:OK Dems, the ball is in your court . . . (4, Insightful)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228636)

It's cute that you think there's a significant difference between the two parties.

It's cuter that people get modded up for repeating this nonsense whenever there's a political discussion. The differences aren't as remarkable as larger party differences in other countries, but to say there's no "significant difference" is absurd, unless you don't consider things such as rights to abortion, rights to marry who you want and freedom from religion important.

(Yes, I realize there are democrats against the above things. But the party's platforms spell out clear differences).

Re:OK Dems, the ball is in your court . . . (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228698)

Both parties want massive intrusive governments, they just want that massive intrusiveness to be applied to slightly different anatomical locations on the taxpayer. I'm not just talking about the party leadership, I'm talking about the party tank and file as well. We have massive intrusive governments because the public keeps voting in politicians that promise massive intrusive governments. Just look at this topic, where most posts are demanding a more massive intrusive FDA.

The thought that things would have been better if only Bush weren't in office is naive. If Gore/Kerry had made it to the white house, we would still have had a massive intrusive government. Hell, considering they both voted for the invasion, we would still be in Iraq! None of the current crop of presidential candidates is any better. They are all in favor of massive intrusive government, they just want it to massively intrude in slightly different ways.

Re:OK Dems, the ball is in your court . . . (2, Insightful)

paulbd (118132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228622)

The Bush Administration is still the administration. Congress has very little control over the day to day actions of political appointees like the Vet Chief of the FDA who appears to be masterminding this unbelievably stupid action. They could call him in for a question and answer session, but given the insanity that the administration has and continues to bring us ov er the last 7 years, its hard to know where they should even start. I guess since we're all God's Children (those of us who are reborn, anyway), God will just take care of the details once the effectivness of even last-line antibiotics starts to fade.

"Feared?" (1)

snarfbot (1036906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228326)

its more like a certainty. its not gonna kill 100% of the bacteria, the survivors will become resistant over a long enough period thats it.

then theres gonna be some invincible strain of ecoli, staph, and whatnot, so thats just great.

its almost as bad as those friggin anti-bacterial lotions, besides the fact that half the nation is always itching to take antibiotics, and just as eager to stop taking them as soon as they feel better, even though their doctor told them not to, because-theyre-jackasses.

Re:"Feared?" (5, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228432)

some invincible strain of ecoli

E. coli is not, and has never been the problem - gram negative bacilli are fairly easy to deal with - we have loads of antibiotic families for them. The BIG problem is the various form of Staphylococci - gram positive cocci - with their built in enzymes that inactivate antibiotics plus all their other enzymes that are just perfect for digesting tissue.

      If I had to choose between a gram negative and gram positive infection, I'd choose the gram negative. Shoot me full of an aminoglucoside or a fluoroquinolone and I'll probably be ok. But gram positives... oops.

      This stuff is a _BIG_ deal. Vets have been using Vancomycin on chicken farms for YEARS. The more antibiotic we put into the environment, the more we encourage resistant strains. There is no doubt that those strains eventually transmit their resistance genes to human pathogens.

Re:"Feared?" (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228822)

The thing that confuses me is why the hell they don't use one antibiotic one year and switch to another the next, then another, then back to the first one again. After one generation bacteria no longer hold their resistance so it's just a matter of rotating your antibiotics. It would mean we don't have to keep developing new antibiotics to keep up. Of course the bigger question still holds since factory farming doesn't work to the benefit of anyone's health.

Re:"Feared?" (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229210)

Because the bacteria don't always lose resistance quickly. Some keep it for a long time. Eventually those strains may become resistant to everything in our arsenal. This is why antibiotics shouldn't be used at all for agriculture.

Re:"Feared?" (4, Interesting)

puck01 (207782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229074)

E. coli is not, and has never been the problem - gram negative bacilli are fairly easy to deal with - we have loads of antibiotic families for them

If I had to choose between a gram negative and gram positive infection, I'd choose the gram negative.

I'm a physician and my friend who is an infectious disease doc happened to be next to me when I read your comment. We both aggreed, this comment is just plain wrong. I'm not sure where to start. Its wrong on many levels mostly because its just too simplistic. My time is limited unfortunatly, so I'm going to be brief. Gram negative infections are common and they can be serious, especially if they make there way into the blood. There are a number of highly resistant gram negative bacteria that are incredably difficult to treat as they are pan-resistant in some cases to every antibiotic avaiable so combinations have to be used for any effectiveness. It is not uncommon to do synergy studies for gram negative bacteria so that we can find combinations of antibiotics that will work because one will not. I personally have never heard of (nor has my friend) needing synergy studies in a gram positives bacteria - please correct me if we are wrong. Every gram positive I've treated or heard of has been at least susceptible to one antibiotic, either vanc or linezolid, usually both. Of course, gram positive infections can be very serious, but so are gram negative infections. I'm not sure at all where you are coming from in your statement. I apologize for the brevity...I wish I had more time.

"guidance document" (4, Insightful)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228340)

Disgusting. They should understand very well that human health is #1, and animal drugs is #10, period.

Any "guidance" serves nothing but to make up excuses that tries to justify animal drugs over human health, for pure "economic" reasons (i.e. greed).

This pisses me off (1)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228352)

No amount of extra funding will make up for a lack of common sense.

- Why can't I buy prescriptions from Canada? This is bullshit.

funds (3, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228358)

When was the last time you heard a government department say:

  "We have all the funds we need. We'd like to thank the taxpayers." ?

Yeah, me neither.

About the same time (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229012)

you tell your employer that he's overpaid you for what you did and write a letter to the IRS asking if they'd like some more money from you.

Bad meat! (1)

Blinkin1200 (917437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228362)

As soon as this drug is approved all of the beef will be considered bad meat similar to the problem with mad cow. I'll stop buying beef at the market and when dining out. How much do you think will be exported from the US once our trading partners get the word that beef from the USA can cause problems. Do you think this will impact the stock prices of McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, or any of the other fast food restaurants?

The FDA not having funding to perform sufficient testing is a different problem.

It may be a good time to sell your cattle futures...

Re:Bad meat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228460)

Beef won't cause problems. It's dung that will, as a breeding ground for superbugs. Cattle already gets antibiotics to ensure an accelerated growth. The problem with this one antibiotic is that it's still a good one for nasty diseases. Antibiotics grow less efficient the more they're used. Throwing away a good one for profit is just disgusting. We really need to ban private labs and put total control of pharma research and production in the hands of the government.

This administration will kill everyone (2, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228374)

For the dollar.

Don't have a cow, man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228410)

Really. Take my wife's antibiotics. Please.

Micotil (5, Interesting)

vladilinsky (1071536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228462)

I'm a farmer/cattle rancher and i actuality get to respond to something on slashdot. I'm so happy. I can say that this really worries me because about 10 years ago we got a new drug Micotil for treating cattle. it would kill anything cattle got (people too if you inadvertently stabbed yourself) now doses for cattle have doubled or even tripled the treatment times need to be increased and the effectiveness, (in my view from my experience ie completely non scientific) is about 1/3 of what it was when Micotil first came out. Maby instead of looking for better antibiotics for the cattle we should be looking at why there are getting sick to begin with, because virtually all cattle that go through the Industrial livestock system get sick.

Re:Micotil (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228500)

Maby instead of looking for better antibiotics for the cattle we should be looking at why there are getting sick to begin with, because virtually all cattle that go through the Industrial livestock system get sick.

Density. When you cram that many of the same species into one space, you have rather less of a herd and more of a bacterial growth medium, not unlike a petri dish. Suppressing natural immune responses through minimal culling and artificial antibiotics exacerbates the problem. And once you have really virulent infections going around, they contaminate the environment, so any livestock that merely pass through will pick it up. They can't even decontaminate hospitals completely -- you think a feedlot gets disinfected as much?

Not to be rude, but how on earth can a rancher not know this sort of thing?

Re:Micotil (5, Interesting)

vladilinsky (1071536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228886)

Its not rude, most farmers/ranchers don't know it. and all vets ever do and tell us is pump more antibiotics into animals, so thats what farmers do. I do know it, i moved away from the feedlot system to grass feed antibiotic free cattle about 5 years a go. i just wanted to make other people think

Re:Micotil (2, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229122)

And so you should be congratulated for bucking the trend and doing the right thing in adversity. Our of curiosity, how do the rest of your clansmen react and can you charge more for your product because it is antibiotic free?

Re:Micotil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18229170)

Not to be rude, but how on earth can a rancher not know this sort of thing?



His question was obviously rhetorical. You need to work on your reading comprehension.

Re:Micotil (0)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228546)

That's ok. I don't buy your beef anyway.

Since the local Thriftway supermarket started carrying painted hills beef http://www.paintedhillsnaturalbeef.com/ [paintedhil...albeef.com] (veggie cows, no antibiotics) at reasonable prices, I've stopped buying other brands. For whatever reason, it tastes better and cooks better. I recommend everyone switch to such products when the opportunity arises.

"Industrial" (4, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228592)

Anywhere I see "industrial" I see unsustainable practices for maximal profits being done.

Doesn't matter WHERE I see it. It just is.

Pack a bunch of dumb animals into a tight space, something that isn't natural- you're going to get problems.
The industry's answer, drug them animals up to offset the problem. Which isn't really an answer.

As the Poultry industry seems to be figuring out- raising chickens and harvesting eggs more akin to the way
one would do in the old days on a farm is actually better than the other way, costs only a little more to
do, and produces much more desirable results (The eggs are more nutritious, as is the chicken meat- and they
taste oh, so much better...) for only slightly more retail cost. The same goes for bread, etc. We've improved
our ways of doing things such that doing things sustainably is more valuable than doing them for the lowest
costs- and for each and every "cost saving" thing, we damage our health, etc.

High Fructose Corn Syrup - while it's cheaper than cane sugar and other sweeteners, HFCS makes type II diabetics
out of people. And we've adulterated the food supply with the damn stuff.

Nutrasweet - I won't even begin to start on THAT stuff.

Antibiotics given to animals indescriminately - antibiotic resistant bacteria that cause problems worse than the
the expense of food would be if you'd back off a little on production.

When will the food industry wise up? When will someone cashier the FDA as it currently is because
it doesn't do ANYTHING of what it's supposed to do. It doesn't allow good drugs to be. It doesn't
allow good food to happen. It doesn't prevent bad drugs from getting on the market. It doesn't
prevent bad food production practices and additives from getting on the market. But it is the final
arbiter on things for this country.

Re:"Industrial" (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229076)

"High Fructose Corn Syrup - while it's cheaper than cane sugar and other sweeteners, HFCS makes type II diabetics out of people. And we've adulterated the food supply with the damn stuff."

Sadly enough, corn syrup isn't even cheaper than cane sugar - it's over twice the cost to make calorie for calorie. The only reason its market price is lower is because the US imposes hefty tariffs on imported cane sugar and heavily subsidizes corn production.

Re:Micotil (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228836)

I use to work for Monfort's (Greeley co) back in the late 80's. One of the things that I recall was seeing an internal report of the increase of amount of antibiotics on the lots. These animals are in close proximity and then get intermixed with new cattle all the times. Worse, the lots were 10-20 feet apart. Finally, the workers would move from one site to the next with the same equipment. The above guarantees that all new bugs will be introduced into a yard, and then quickly spread. I remember thinking that it would have been far cheaper in the long term to simply change the set-up, but accountants said too much money. But hey, what did I know? I was just a coder with a micro-bio degree and had minimal farming experience growing up. The accountants HAD to be correct.

Now, I prefer beef that is ranged. I would be nice to not use anti-biotics, but I consider that inhumane.

The Big One (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228468)

The Big Thing that's gonna take humans down a notch won't be nuclear attack. It won't be global warming. It'll be a simple bacteria, maybe a version of something common like strep or staph that doctors just can't kill because of simple resistance. I can't wait.

An historic example: (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228756)

Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 [stanford.edu] .

Re:An historic example: (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229158)

Already here - avian flu, drug-TB...plus many hospitals now are infested with unkillable 'superbugs'. Me? I can wait - all the severe infections these drug-resistant bugs give you are very nasty ways to die.

Re:The Big One (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229262)

Yes, we survived thousands of years without antibiotics, but *now* we are going to die because we cant use them?

Wouldn't it just be more efficient ... (1)

miletus (552448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228478)

to just breed anti-biotic resistent strains of every common illness-causing bacteria, spread them around, and be done with it? Clearly our leaders are nostalgic for the days of widespread TB and syphillis.

Avoiding the word "Evolution" again (4, Insightful)

DrJay (102053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228508)

It's ironic that in light of the recent analysis [slashdot.org] of the use of the term "evolution" covered here on slashdot that the summary would suggest that the bacteria will "develop a resistance to these drugs." Resistance to the drugs will will evolve, if we're to use the proper term for the process.

As the original article in that earlier discussion noted, if we'd use the appropriate term when discussing these issues, it's more likely that people will realize that understanding evolution is essential to understand this and a variety of other public health issues, such as emerging diseases, cancer, etc. And maybe, just maybe, science classes would be a touch more likely to teach science without winding up in the court system.

Re:Avoiding the word "Evolution" again (1)

cascino (454769) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228758)

While I agree in principle about the "evolution" argument and education, it's important to note that the overwhelming majority of bacterial acquired resistance has nothing to do with evolution, or random mutation, at least in the present tense. It's a fairly common misconception that there is a "brute force approach" of point mutations across a large (>billions of bacterium) population that somehow constructs a mechanism by which antibiotic resistance is acquired. Even with the selective pressures of antibiotic treatments and the overwhelming number of individuals in a population, the probability of a functional protein or pathway being altered to disable the target of a particular antibiotic while retaining that protein or pathway's functionality is quite low. It can happen, but it's not the primary means by which bacteria acquire resistance.

Instead you have to consider where our antibiotic drugs come from. Penicillin, erythromycin, vancomycin, et al. are all related to the direct products of microorganisms (e.g. Penicillium mold) that have been isolated in nature and chemically modified to be suitable for use in humans. But why would a bacterial organism express an antibiotic chemical in the first place? Competition. Antibiotics are produced by organisms to eradicate local bacteria as a means of competing for nutrients. The question, then, is how are the organisms that produce antibiotic compounds able to survive themselves? And the answer, of course, is that they have previously-established mechanisms for dealing with the action of these various antibiotics.

This would not be important without a means for transfer between pathogens. That there are numerous ways for genes pertaining to virulence, growth, and even resistance to be transferred between various organisms - including between different species of bacteria. Bacteriophages are viruses that can carry genes from species to species, and there are also ways for bacteria to transfer naked DNA through a medium and incorporate functionality from one organism into another. Gene transfer is a very common event, and in a population where certain species are resistant to an antibiotic compound it is only a matter of time before these resistance elements become widespread.

Therefore, the primary means by which bacteria acquire resistance to our antibiotics is by the transfer of previously-existing resistance genes from organisms that themselves produce our antibiotics. The antibiotic that is the subject of the article is a fourth-generation cephalosporin, which was originally cultured from Cephalosporium acremonium, an organism that is obviously resistant to the action of cephalosporin antibiotics. It is likely that this resistance over time will be carried to otherwise sensitive organisms and, in the presence of antibiotic selectivity, resistant organisms will emerge as the dominant flora. So while "evolution" is an applicable concept, it's really not the key to bacterial acquired resistance.

Re:Avoiding the word "Evolution" again (1)

DrJay (102053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229052)

Your response depends on the assumption that changes in the frequency of genes within a larger population is not an example of evolution. Population genetics, as a field, would like to disagree. Evolution does not presuppose a specific source of useful variations. In most cases, they do occur without the benefits of horizontal gene transfer, and their origin involves one type of evolutionary study. But the spread of favorable variations is also an evolutionary process, and one that does not assume anything about their origins.

Re:Avoiding the word "Evolution" again (1)

cascino (454769) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229156)

> Your response depends on the assumption that changes in the frequency of genes within a larger population is not an example of evolution.

You're right - I caught that after I posted. I think the general conception of "evolution" among non-biologists (which includes myself, though I'm in a related field) is of random mutation leading to functionality, rather than horizontal transfer. But again you are correct in saying they both are evolutionary. Either way hopefully someone finds the "random mutation vs. horizontal transfer" idea interesting.

tainted beef (1)

snarfbot (1036906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228514)

what if you had aids, and you went to the diner and got a hamburger that not only had active levels of this anti-biotic, but was also laden with salmonella. you might very well die.

What's the point? (1)

jaquio (1046434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228516)

So why do antibiotics produce these resistant strains? I thought the entire purpose was to kill bacteria and viruses. Are they not effective enough to kill all the bugs? Maybe we need to come up with a 100% effective way instead of what appears like half-assing it.

Re:What's the point? (3, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228572)

They produce resistant strains precisely because they're so effective at killing bacteria. They kill off everything except that tiny proportion that have a mutation that protects them from the antibiotic. Those survivers then rapidly become the dominant strain and suddenly your wonder drug *doesn't* kill the majority of bacteria any more.

Re:What's the point? (1)

picob (1025968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229120)

They kill off everything except that tiny proportion that have a mutation that protects them from the antibiotic. Those survivers then rapidly become the dominant strain and suddenly your wonder drug *doesn't* kill the majority of bacteria any more.

You are right, but in other words: most bacterial resistance is caused by a wrong use of medicine. You should use the drug until all bacteria are killed, and not stop when the symptoms are gone. Prescriptions often describe a timespan in which a medicine should be used. If people would follow these prescriptions, then the development of resistance shouldn't have a chance.

Also, bacteria can take up plasmids, circular pieces of DNA, from one bacteria to another. These can contain the genetic information required for the antibiotic resistance and spread it among different strains.

Re:What's the point? (1)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228628)

It's a temporary fix to an expensive problem. Something companies and people do all the time to make/save a few bucks. Yes, it will resist the strains but of course nature is tricky and likes to evolve. Bacteria can learn/evolve too, often very quickly because they, like us, and the bacterial inside of us has a purpose to survive and multipy. At least thats a description in laymen terms.

[J]

Re:What's the point? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228780)

The problem isn't the drugs, it is the practices around them. The animals are given drugs in a way that gets them to slaughter as fast as possible, without worrying much about making them 'healthy'. I'm not familiar with current practice, but they at least used to basically include antibiotics in the feed, as a 'growth enhancer'.

i call bullshit. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228562)

This news follows complaints from the FDA that it is no longer getting the funds needed to do the research required for the desired level of food safety.


how likely do you think it is that the FDA simply cannot get enough fundage to make sure our food is safe? that excuse was provided to keep people focusing on the actual problem.

im sure alot of people will read this and think 'eh, so what' but it is in fact one of the biggest issues of our lifetimes.

monsanto has been selling posilac (rBGH) for a long time now, and whats particularly fucked up about this is that posilac is made for one reason- so that each cow produces more milk. why is that so fucked up? because we are, and have been, for a long time, over producing milk. there are MANY companies that pay dairy farmers to produce LESS milk or none at all. so one of the first new products monsanto gives us (since agent orange) is a drug that produces more of what we do not need.

rBGH causes something called mastitis in cows which is a inflammation of the udders, when this happens the farmer has to start injecting mass amounts of antibiotics to try to keep it under control.

it is PROVEN (and swept under the carpet) science that we HAVE ALREADY created antibiotic resistant bacteria because of the mass amounts of antibiotics the cows are drugged with. its been known for a long long time now.

monsanto is a very dangerous company and many people would call me a nutjob for saying so, but you need only look at the facts surrounding how they got this shit approved in the first place to tell that it doesnt pass the smell test.

when they were trying to get this approved by the FDA they had a researcher named Margaret Miller to put together a report to submit to the FDA concerning the safety of monsanto's growth hormones.
right before the report was submitted to the FDA Margaret left monsanto and was hired by the FDA. guess what her first job was for the FDA? to approve the report she herself had just written.

congrats, capitalism.

FDA isn't trustworthy. (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228582)

Since the FDA isn't trustworthy, why would anyone care?

UK Policy (4, Interesting)

mr-mafoo (891779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228588)

In the UK we dont immunise animals that are going to end up down the food chain to prevent antibodies from passing down the food chain. And ofcorse to prevent resistant strains of the desieses from forming.

This is why at the last foot and mouth outbreak we (UK) killed off all the infected stock. France etc treated their animals.

Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18228594)

Ah dam#$... the editor cut the point out of the story.

The point is that people who believe evolution is some sort of anti-religious hoax may be more likely to make or support such a decision. Even if millions in campaign contributions are the main motivation. And this is about nothing more than the evolution of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Something scientist have not talked about as much as possible. [slashdot.org]

This puts everyone in the world, regardless of beliefs, at risk. Its a trade off of health in the long term for more efficient feedlots in the short term. To be blunt, that kinda sucks for all those without rapture insurance or long term plans involving only the second coming ;-)

This news follows complaints from the FDA that it is no longer getting the funds [latimes.com] needed to do the research required for the desired level of food safety. The FDA and others are also getting closer oversight [nytimes.com] of its regulatory work by the white house.

Facts that are also cut out: opensecrets.org rapports [opensecrets.org] that the "agribusiness" industry brought $44,114,768 into US politics in 06. The pharmaceutical industry [opensecrets.org] contributed $18,898,467.

A bad idea is one thing, a bad idea for the wrong reasons is another...

Also, if you like the idea of less or self regulation, not bad in principle, than ask yourself what is worse:
  • A government which regulates industry based on a honest belief in the need for regulation based on scientific assessments of risks or
  • a government that considers regulation an opportunity for a shakedown of businesses.
Abramoff used fake regulation threats from his Christian coalition friends to get campaign contributions from Indian casino`s to the GOP and Christian pressure groups. The goal of the K-street project was to prevent money from such tricks from going to both parties.

healthy animals don't need antibiotics (3, Informative)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228644)

The only reason agribusiness needs these new antibiotics is because they abuse their animals. Cows that are warehoused in feedlots and fed diets unfit for a cow and the stressful lifestyle.

Animal Stress: A high-grain diet can cause physical problems for ruminants-cud-chewing
animals such as cattle, dairy cows, goats, bison, and sheep. Ruminants are designed to
eat fibrous grasses, plants, and shrubs-not starchy, low-fiber grain.
When they are switched
from pasture to grain, they can become afflicted with a number of disorders, including a
common but painful condition called "subacute acidosis." Cattle with subacute acidosis
kick at their bellies, go off their feed, and eat dirt. To prevent more serious and sometimes
fatal reactions, the animals are given chemical additives along with a constant, low-level
dose of antibiotics. Some of these antibiotics are the same ones used in human medicine.
When medications are overused in the feedlots, bacteria become resistant to them. When
people become infected with these new, disease-resistant bacteria, there are fewer medi-
cations available to treat them.

-Grass Fed Basics [eatwild.com]


I read something written by natural dairy farmers about their experience helping conventional farmers convert their operations to more sustainable methodology. The converteres were like, "since you can't use antibiotics, what do you do when your cows get sick?" They said that their cows simply don't get sick, because they're properly cared for.

I haven't needed antibiotics since I fired the Medical-Industrial Complex 7 years ago. I got fed up with their inability to do anything for my chronic ear infections besides antibiotic drops and pills. There is a time and a place for everything, but these drugs certainly don't belong in the regular veterinary repertoire.

Can't teach an old cow new tricks (5, Interesting)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18228778)

What's in that milk [wikipedia.org] ?

"The sale of Posilac is illegal in virtually every developed country with the exception of the United States. Recent studies have shown that lab rats absorbed IGF-1 during the digestive process, which subsequently caused cysts and other cancerous growths to form in the test animals flesh. Despite numerous official requests for the FDA to revoke the approval for Monsanto's product, no such action has been taken thus far."

Don't try [youtube.com] and tell people though.

As for FDA, I can't even begin to tell you how [newstarget.com] badly [newstarget.com] it's managed. Thankfully they thought about a perfect side dish to our Dolly steaks [slashdot.org] . Maybe we shouldn't wonder why health care costs are skyrocketing and people are getting fatter...

Very scary (1)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229046)

Man, I thought the FDA was more responsible than this. This is such a ridiculously stupid idea. They're basically saying the current health of the cattle outweighs the health of people. This is so incredibly shortsighted. It's precisely this stuff that got us to the point of having antibiotic resistant bacteria. Everyone in the scientific community, particularly the medical community, knows this. How the FDA can be so irresponsible, is beyond me.

This is criminal... (4, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229244)

Every gram of antibiotics administered is one more gram released into the environment where it will create resistant microbes. The microbes do not care if the antibiotic was administered in tiny doses to a 2-year-old with an ear infection or in massive doses to a 600 pound cow as a feed supplement to make it grow faster and bigger. EVERY antibiotic given to cattle in massive doses has quickly lost its effectiveness in the human population to the point that resistant microbes are now very common. The cow excretes most of the antibiotics into the environment where they create new resistant microbe populations that then migrate worldwide. The public health people hector doctors to avoid giving antibiotic prescriptions unless absolutely necessary and then the FDA does something like this. This is criminally negligent and irresponsible and some people at the FDA need to be brought to trial and thrown into prison.

so im a lame ass human development major (3, Insightful)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18229292)

... because I like studying social change. Maybe there should be some here, read on:

I did a kind of self experiment starting this school year. I gave up smoking, fast food, etc etc. Not that I was unhealthy by any means, no sir, 16 minute 2 mile i was more than happy with considering the pack a day habit, but I changed what I ate.

McDick's double cheese burger? Nah. 80/20 lean beef and a george foreman. And a fuckin' apple instead of fries and a shake. Ciggy? No way. How about a glass of water and a deep breath (hey I can do that now!) when I'm stressed out?

Ya wanna know what happened? That 16 minute mile is well under 14 now. I wake up when the sun's up and I'm moving before the coffee pot even starts, not the other way around.

The best side effect of all, however, is that i just plain don't. get. sick.

A cow is supposed to eat grass. A cow's supposed to get a little sick now and then, and if a cow gets really sick, a cow should get really shot and buried. Instead, we decide to feed cows, well, corn and chopped up sick cows.

Now, if putting good stuff in ME keeps me from getting sick, why would it not work on a cow? Why the HELL isn't the /Food/ and Drug Administration doing something about this? See all them farmers throwing out corn because we paid them to do so? How about you pay them to graze cattle? Subsidize RESPONSIBLE farming and then guess what? It will trickle down the line. If what I put in me is healthier from the start, I get healthier. Oh, and guess what I can do when I feel better? I can produce more. So get on it, you capitalist fucks! It'll make your health care costs go down, too!

Now, I understand that shit doesn't change that quick. But this isn't about getting cars that shit out water on the roads, this is about eating good. Hybrid cars aren't much different than a regular car, but food that was "grown", not "manufactured" TASTES a hell of a lot better and you can measure results for yourself within weeks. I think we should give it a try.
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