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Antibiotics In Animal Feed Encourage Emergence Of Superbugs – FDA Sued By Health And Consumer Organizations

May 26, 2011 3 comments

medicalnewstoday
If the FDA concluded in 1977 that adding low-dose antibiotics used in human medicine to animal feed raised the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, why has it still done nothing about it? A suit filed by some health and consumer organizations says the FDA has not met its legal responsibility to protect public health – the practice of routinely adding low-dose antibiotics to animal feed has to stop, and the FDA has the authority to make it so.

Peter Lehner, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) executive director, said:

“More than a generation has passed since FDA first recognized the potential human health consequences of feeding large quantities of antibiotics to healthy animals.

Accumulating evidence shows that antibiotics are becoming less effective, while our grocery store meat is increasingly laden with drug-resistant bacteria. The FDA needs to put the American people first by ensuring that antibiotics continue to serve their primary purpose – saving human lives by combating disease.”

70% of all US antibiotic consumption is used up in adding low-doses to animal feed to make up for unsanitary living conditions and promote faster growth, according to NRDC. This practice has been steadily growing over the last six decades, despite the every-growing threat to humans of superbugs.

The antibiotic doses used in feed or water for turkeys, cows, pigs and chickens are too low to treat diseases – however, they are low enough for a significant number of bacteria to survive and build Read more…

AP IMPACT: Past medical testing on humans revealed

February 28, 2011 Comments off

In this June 25, 1945 picture, army doctors expose patients to malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the malaria ward at Stateville Penitentiary in Crest Hill, Ill. Around the time of World War II, prisoners were enlisted to help the war effort by participating in studies that could help the troops. A series of malaria studies at Stateville Penitentiary in Illinois and two other penitentiaries were designed to test antimalarial drugs that could help soldiers fighting in the Pacific. Shocking as it may seem, government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates.

By MIKE STOBBE,

ATLANTA – Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.

Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government’s apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.

U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States — studies that often involved making healthy people sick.

An exhaustive review by The Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies. At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments; at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.

Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn’t give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.

These studies were worse in at least one respect — they violated the Read more…