On June 2, President Barack Obama directed federal agencies to serve antibiotic-free meat and poultry in government cafeterias.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will require animal producers to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use drugs to treat a specific disease, rather than just to promote rapid growth as is current practice. As much as 80 percent of all United States antibiotics are used in animal agriculture.
The moves come amid growing concern about the link between routine antibiotic use in animal agriculture and human infections by bacteria, which have developed resistance to antibiotics because of their excessive use.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that antibiotic resistance causes 2 million illnesses per year in the United States and 23,000 deaths. It also adds $20 billion per year in health care costs and $35 billion in lost productivity. And we thought that animal products were just linked to heart disease, cancer and stroke
While government agencies reduce antibiotics in animal products, the rest of us can do better immediately with wholesome vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains, and a rich variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, milks and ice creams available in every supermarket.
These foods contain all the nutrients we require, without the deadly pathogens, antibiotics, carcinogens, cholesterol and saturated fats.