Antibiotic Overuse Is Causing Antibiotic Resistance to Grow

Experts have been warning us for years about the growing danger of antibiotic-resistant infections. Now, thanks to rampant overuse, antibiotics are unable to cure infections that kill 23,000 Americans a year, according to In short, antibiotic overuse is causing antibiotic resistance to grow.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – more commonly known as MRSA – kills more Americans than emphysema, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and homicide combined. It’s a serious issue, and one industry that’s been driving the problem is not medicine, but farming.

One of the common uses of antibiotics that most people know about is in soaps and hand sanitizers, but one of the less commonly known uses is in commercial poultry farms. By some estimates, as much as 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used in livestock. Chicken producers, for instance, have typically used the antibiotic gentamicin to treat each egg – usually to promote quick growth and combat disease.

Some livestock producers have changed their ways though. According to Mother Jones, Perdue Farms abandoned the use of human antibiotics and has instead been using an antibiotic called narasin, but only on about a third of its birds. That change was made starting in the early 2000s, and by 2010, Consumer Reports found that Perdue products fared better in foodborne pathogens tests for the presence of salmonella and campylobacter. Click here to read the full story with all the details.


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