We all know that, thanks to worries about superbugs, taking antibiotics isn’t the best course of action when all you’ve got is a bit of a cold… but it seems like we may be throwing them in our bodies anyhow just through the food we eat. According to China Daily, almost half of the antibiotics – 97,000 out of the 210,000 produced in China – are being used on livestock.
As a result, unsuspecting citizens have developed a strong resistance to drugs through their diets. The People’s Daily reports on one unfortunate consequence:
A 650-gram premature infant born in Guangzhou developed resistance to seven kinds of antibiotics, which was suspected to be due to his mother’s daily intake of meat and eggs that contained remnants of antibiotics.
Antibiotics have been banned from being added to fodder in Europe, and a similar ban is expected to take place in South Korea next year. Unfortunately, since the introduction of antibiotics into the breeding industry in China during the 1990s, its use has expanded to compensate for the limited sanitary conditions that have been established for farming. Carrying out a similar ban in China would mean losing a massive amount of livestock to serious diseases.
A survey carried out by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has also found that of the farmers interviewed, 50 percent add antibiotics and drugs into the diet of their livestock, now that’s something to chew one’s cud about. Especially because it doesn’t just disappear after use.
“Western countries initially fed pigs antibiotic waste in 1960s to speed up their growth and later applied that to the entire industry,” said Xie Zhongquan, chairman of Beijing Feedstuffs Industry Association. “However, the man-made wastes form residues inside animal bodies as they are unable to degrade.”
So, are you sweating bullets over your bacon and eggs in the morning? Perhaps giving the organic revolution a chance isn’t such a bad idea after all…