Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FDA Backtracks On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Proposal

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the mirsa-meals dept.

Government 172

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The FDA recognized, 35 years ago, that feeding animals low-doses of certain antibiotics used in human medicine — namely, penicillin and tetracyclines — could promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people who eat meat, and proposed to withdraw approval for the use of those antibiotics in animal feed. Instead of acting upon the proposal, the FDA has now withdrawn it. Although admitting that it continues to have 'concerns' about the safety of the use of antibiotics in animal feed, the FDA says that it will just continue to rely on 'voluntary self-policing' by the industry, the same method which hasn't worked out too well during the past 35 years, as antibiotic use in livestock and antibiotic resistance have continued to rise throughout the entire period."

cancel ×

172 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524770)

let the meat-eating people die

Re:good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524858)

Unfortunately they will eventually spread their antibiotic-resistant bacteria around, and the rest of us will be doomed as well.

Re:good (1, Insightful)

cgfsd (1238866) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524932)

If enjoying the wonderful taste of a wood roasted tenderloin filet spreads the antibiotic-resistant bacteria around and in the process kills everyone, I am OK with that. We all die eventually, and if others can die for my happiness, cool! :)

Re:good (2)

bsane (148894) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525134)

Other than the summary - is there any reference that this promotes 'bacteria capable of infecting people who eat meat'? Or does it promote bacteria with resistance to the antibiotics in use that can affect everyone?

Re:good (4, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525394)

As I understand it this is how it works, they give cows and pigs antibiotics in low doses so they won't get sick in the crowded feeding yards. There is not a problem with the bacteria in cows and pigs being resistant because properly handling and cooking the meat will kill the bacteria, and sick animals are treated before they are slaughtered. However the antibiotics are still in the cows and pigs and are passed on to the consumer, at those low doses bacteria will not be completely eliminated and can become resistant to them. Once the person is sick they will spread the more resistant bacteria to anyone they come in contact with. So it's not a problem that the vegetarians are immune too, vegetarians can't make the bacteria any stronger, but still can get the illness.

Please get actual facts. (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527294)

No.

The give an extremely small amount of antibiotics. something like 1/100 th of a dose. 90% of which is peed out. This kills bugs in the animals gut. Then the animal absorbs more food.
There is NO TRACE in any meat when processed.

When an animal is sick, it is isolated, given proper doses, and has to be without antibiotics. If memory serves, 3 months isolation.
Isolation may also mean several animals who might be sick.

The dose is far too low to create a 'superbug'.

Re:good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527600)

Ask where the bacteria come from to begin with.

Most people dont know what happens to our waste once we flush the toilet.

Hint - EPA Title 40 Section 503 - Land application of Sewage Sludge. [epa.gov]
Hint #2 - if it doesnt say USDA Certified Organic [organic.org] on label, the winning bet is human sewage was part of production cycle.

www.sludgefacts.org [sludgefacts.org]
www.sewagesludgeactionnetwork.com [sewageslud...etwork.com]
www.deadlydeciet.com [deadlydeciet.com]
Big problem in PA [nbcphiladelphia.com]
Big problem in CA [bakersfield.com]
Big problem in VA [state.wv.us]

Yes and no. Mostly yes. (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525500)

Other than the summary - is there any reference that this promotes 'bacteria capable of infecting people who eat meat'? Or does it promote bacteria with resistance to the antibiotics in use that can affect everyone?

It's the second, of course: meat-eaters aren't a unique class of person vulnerable to completely different pathogenic illnesses than those who don't eat meat.

On the other hand, animals and animal products are an excellent way of acquiring any pathogenic illness that isn't transmitted by sex or air, and they're still the number one source of novel diseases. Anthropologists have pretty well established that major plagues usually jumped directly from animals, often livestock, into humans. They didn't call it swine flu for the nasty imagery.

The powerful connection between animal products in the food supply and infectious disease must be what they're really getting at - and the reason they don't want to risk making animal-borne bacteria any stronger.

Re:Yes and no. Mostly yes. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527322)

Yes, but it isn't passed through eating, it's past from living next to each other and 'sharing' wet sources.
Meaning, some disease from an animal gets on a person hand, and then they tough there nose or eyes.

Re:good (0)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526264)

You first, cretin.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527320)

You first - I pooped on your vegetables.

Obama 2012! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524786)

We need more Hope and Change!!!!!

Wow (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524808)

FDA continues to admit it's useless and just likes to thrash its arms about in a non threatening manner. I guess I'm not surprised.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

fredrated (639554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524874)

I think the problem is that the FDA has lost it's resistance to corporate sponsored corruption.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524906)

The FDA does what congress tells them to do, and getting (re)elected requires massive amounts of capital.

Re:Wow (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526752)

FDA Health & Human Services Cabinet President

Not congress. Congress can pass laws telling them to regulate stuff, but it's up to the secretary (and the president) to manage the day-to-day operations.

Re:Wow (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525048)

I think the problem is that the FDA has lost it's resistance to corporate sponsored corruption.

I hate to be a grammar nazi here, but I believe the proper spelling for FDA is "Government".

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525622)

Also, the phrase "corporate sponsored corruption" has 2 too many words.

Re:Wow (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527340)

No, the proper spelling is FDA.

There is no 'Government'. There are many groups with different goals and responsibilities that are part of the government.

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38525624)

Lost? Never heard about the fiasco with the HIV-tainted-hemophilia medications back in the 80's? FDA did diddly then too. Now, to be fair to government agencies, the CDC totally called both the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA on it. Sadly, they lacked the teeth to do any more than yell at them.

Re:Wow (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527468)

You might as well start calling them the "Ministry of Food and Drugs", because that's what they are. They have been working exclusively for Big Pharma and Big Ag for many years now, and try to hide that by claiming everything they do is for "consumer protection". That couldn't be further from the truth.

There is a long list of abuses by the FDA the illustrate this point. Raids of farming co-opts, seizures of organic and raw milk farmers, banning of agricultural products that compete with pharmaceuticals (research the history of red yeast rice and Lipitor for a particularly egregious example), lots and lots of "minor" regulations that are squeezing out small and family farmers in favor of corporate chemical farming.

The only thing surprising about this decision is that they didn't come up with something to claim that antibiotics are good and not using them dangerous, and suggest that meat from farms NOT using antibiotics should be taken off the market.

Slashdotters. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524832)

I'm absolutely, 100%, drippin' naked. I'm completely drippin' naked.

You interested? Has your dick became and horny?

Re:Slashdotters. (0)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526092)

You interested? Has your dick became and horny?

Yes!

But not horny for you. Good god, not for you.

Beef (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524836)

I'll never get sick of eating it.

Re:Beef (1)

oldredlion (1663421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526038)

I'll never get sick of eating it.

But you might get sick by eating it.

Hmmm, poisonous beef... drool

Follow the Money (5, Insightful)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524844)

Bet you it leads back to Industry.

Re:Follow the Money (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524870)

Bet you it leads back to Industry.

That or the FDA doesn't have the resources/funds to enforce new legislation.

Re:Follow the Money (2, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525724)

...and won't as long as the Republicans have at least 40 votes in the Senate.

Re:Follow the Money (3, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526200)

The FDA is part of the _executive_ branch, you know, that branch run by a president who talks like a liberal and acts like GWB.

Re:Follow the Money (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526256)

This is true, but the purse strings are controlled by Congress, which is where my statement comes in.

Easy. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524904)

Don't eat meat.

Re:Easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524946)

But if we don't stop all the other dick heads from eating meat, they'll inevitably spread their antibiotic-resistant bacteria around to the rest of us. Oh and don't forget to stop eating cheese, milk, eggs, Twinkies and everything else that comes from livestock.

Re:Easy. (1)

bram (490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525398)

Exactly :)
Raw organic fruits and a little bit of green veggies (oragnic, of course) is all you need.

Re:Easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38525536)

Damn, all my supermarket carries is organic. Do I need to go to a farmer's market to find this oragnic stuff?

Re:Easy. (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525886)

Throw in a bit of nuts and eggs.

Re:Easy. (1)

bram (490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526058)

No need :)

Re:Easy. (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525482)

Can't, need proteins to code shaders.

Only veggies I touch are coffe.

This is an experiment right? (5, Funny)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524922)

Trying to dissprove the concept of "tragedy of the commons"?

Greed (3, Informative)

GoooF (135436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524926)

Yet another consequence to greed. View the documentary 'Food Inc.', they show how the food industry have become afraid of the public opinion by creating laws against criticizing food producers and totally dedicated to generate more profit by lowering quality standards and so on..

Re:Greed (0)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524970)

Another consequence of that greed : just about every poor person in America gets meat daily, which is vastly healthier than not eating meat . Just look to your southern neighbor, Mexico, where the poor get beans on a tortilla with maybe a piece of chicken leg on sunday. The further south, the worse it gets.

Re:Greed (3, Funny)

xyzzy42 (740215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525252)

which is vastly healthier than not eating meat

This is not true. There is nothing inherently superior nutritionally in eating meat. Eating low quality meat scraps, such as hamburger and highly processed meats, is demonstrably worse. Beans are a high quality source of protein, but not complete. However, combined with the protein found in grains, together they provide complete protein. Cultures all around the world have figured out how to get complete protein with available products.

Meat "not required" (3, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526228)

Oh great, another propaganda point that somehow supersedes a 3 centuries of research (keeping soldiers alive on the high seas was an intense focus of research with lots of fuckups ... and you know what they already knew 3 centuries ago ? No matter what the fuckup, raw meat can fix it. Cooked/baked meat and fish (raw or cooked) can fix the large majority of fuckups with a few notable exceptions).

People (mostly small children though) die from not eating meat
If you die from too much meat, it'll be at 50 at the earliest.

And yes with a massively varied diet of plants you can avoid the need to eat meat almost completely. Not quite completely, but almost. To the point that your body can survive for maybe 2 decades without meat. This requires constant nutritional supplements (usually made from fish, so there's barely any nutricional supplements that qualify as vegetarian) and medical monitoring. It is a very difficult exercise, that's basically impossible in all but the most developed countries. You can cheat and drink milk and eat eggs, which will help a lot.

Your dietary suggestion of beans + grain is moronic. How about you eat beans and grains exclusively for 4 months, and we bet for 1000 dollars that it won't work. Of course, that's a bad bet, since either you cheat, or you die ... In both cases I doubt I'll see any money. You will after all have died from the most basic of food diseases, scurvy, after 2-3 months. That would be 2-3 weeks at best if you didn't start out living in one of the most developed nations on earth.

In practice 2 weeks will cause enough symptoms to manifest themselves that the pain alone will drive you back to normalcy : after about a week on your proposed diet you will get small wounds which won't heal, usually in places like the corners of the mouth or between the fingers and toes. They won't heal. A little after that they will start to rip open merely because you move your body. A crust will form on them, time and again, but it will be unable to remain attached to your skin. These wounds will slowly grow in size. From that point on you will feel extremely bad and spend upwards of 14 hours in bed each day, you will lose interest in anything and everyting, complaining of a constant headache. And we're not even at ONE month yet. After a month you will lose the ability to breathe normally and have a constant sharp pain in your bones. Keep it up, and a few teeth will fall out, you will constantly have blood in your mouth, the result of large infected areas in your mouth, rendering you unable to eat or drink without extreme discomfort. Likewise, blood will leak from the other small wounds, which at this point won't be all that small anymore. After this, random internal bleeding will start occuring, making you look like a person who's gone 10 rounds against Mike Tyson, unsuccessfully. From this point on, if you're unlucky, it takes a few weeks for you to die. You will die from total loss of internal body cohesion : blood will literally leak everywhere, and at the autopsy if they break your skin without taking the pressure of first, it will gusher out.

Any other dietary suggestions ? Hint : best include the most basic of additives, vitamin C. It would also be great if you actually noticed that plants do not contain all 9 of the essential amino acids, and so you will have to include at least two non-plant lifeforms. And please note that children have 13 essential amino acids, so their dietary requirements (in the sense that they die if they don't get it) are more extensive. There are tons of special cases where additional nutrients are required either because of genetic predisposition or simple external factors ranging from contact with salt water to lack of sunlight.

There is one substance that contains all required nutrients for a human being : meat (raw meat). With fish being a close second (likewise raw), with only a few omissions. Pulverizing the bones and adding them to the meat itself makes both meat and fish much healthier (a feature ironically only part of "low-quality" meats).

Are they absolutely required ? No. But if you don't take them ... you get to puzzle everything together. Miss one piece and you will not like the result at all.

Re:Meat "not required" (1)

jasno (124830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526474)

A plant based diet can provide everything but B12(http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/105/25/e197.full), which can be obtained by eating certain bacteria.

I'm not advocating anyone try it, just correcting an inaccuracy.

Re:Meat "not required" (1)

rhakka (224319) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526682)

he didn't say you couldn't piece it together. just that A, it requires a very varied diet not practical for anyone but an industrialized person to achieve and B, it requires great attention to what you are getting in what you are eating that is unlikely to be practical for most people.

Not that you can't be a vegetarian for a long time. but there is a wall I've seen most vegetarians I know hit after about 10-12 years.

Re:Meat "not required" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526638)

If you think vitamin C, which indeed protects from scurvy [wikipedia.org] , comes from raw meat, Oelewapperke, then you're either an Inuit [wikipedia.org] (and I suspect from your nickname you're Belgian instead) or you've been eating raw meat for months on your ship instead of corned beef [wikipedia.org] or pemmican [wikipedia.org] .
But if you think about it, the foodstuff with most nutritional value for humans is of course the "long pig" (taboo in almost all cultures ;-) )

Re:Greed (2)

kwoff (516741) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527132)

Though I notice those cultures also tend to be short, too, as if malnourished. I'd rather look at whatever the Dutch are eating.

Re:Greed (4, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525266)

Another consequence of that greed : just about every poor person in America gets meat daily, which is vastly healthier than not eating meat . Just look to your southern neighbor, Mexico, where the poor get beans on a tortilla with maybe a piece of chicken leg on sunday. The further south, the worse it gets.

It's painfully obvious as we watch those same poor Americans waddle around that we have absolutely NO right whatsoever to use the words "vastly healthier" when trying to defend anything related to our diet, including meat. Let's also not forget that we're here debating over the fact that meat isn't really meat anymore, and the artificial influences inflicted upon it really tend to question the overall benefit. This ain't your Grandpas chicken anymore.

And "vastly healthier" could be scientifically argued and proven wrong within the vegetarian community...not that you really need to when a simple visual comparison between the two groups is obvious enough.

Re:American obesity (5, Interesting)

Johnny Loves Linux (1147635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525620)

It's not meant to be a point of criticism, but it's not meat that's making so many American's fat -- it's fructose in the diet from table sugar and just as bad high corn fructose syrup. Here's a link to a fascinating video by Dr. Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist specializing in childhood obesity, entitled "The Bitter Truth About Sugar" that covers among other topics the biochemical process that connects fructose to creation of fat cells: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com] . Checkout the history between the size of soda cans/bottles and the correlation to obesity rates in America. If you just want the highlights from the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdMjKEncojQ [youtube.com] In my own personal research it's mind blowing the amount of fructose in soda vs. other food products. The amount of sugar in a low sugar whole wheat slice of bread: 1g. The amount of sugar in a 24 oz. Dr. Pepper bottle: 80g! Unholy bat guano! It's a miracle that people's pancreas don't explode from the amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis.

Re:American obesity (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526664)

IMO... food has gotten significantly cheaper over the years, and people have been consuming more calories. More calories == more fat == more obesity.

But don't let that stop you from searching for that one evil ingredient that's making everyone fat. Just think, if we stop consuming fructose, we can all chow down on our daily serving of fast food without gaining a pound. McD for everyone!

(Personal example.. so feel free to ignore it entirely)
I consume 6-8 pieces of fruit/day (in my mostly vegetarian diet.. nothing against meat; fruits and veggies just taste better).

23g of sugar in an apple or orange
17g in a banana
15g in a peach
20g in a serving of grapes

That's around 150g of sugar/day (2/3rd of the sugar in fruit is fructose). Or 2x what the average person consumes (according to your video).

I'm 5'9", 165lbs, 14% body fat.

I guess I'll be obese any day now with a diet like that right?

Re:American obesity (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526780)

didn't mean, "IMO people are eating more". meant, IMO that's the cause. People are [latimes.com] definitely eating more [cdc.gov] than they used to.

Re:Greed (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525656)

Of course, there's the fact that the meat portion of the diet has jack all to do with the obesity condition of the population, but lets not let facts get in the way of a good rant.

Re:Greed (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526270)

I couldn't have said it better. It's pure calorie content, and indeed it's too high in America.

But even there, comparing the consequences of too high versus too low, you'll be going for the "too high" category if you have any sense. Of course, that doesn't quite justify taking in 3x your requirements ...

Still it's better to overfeed the poor (and everybody else) than to starve them. As anyone outside of America knows ...

Re:Greed (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527152)

that doesn't quite justify taking in 3x your requirements

No need to exaggerate when reality does just fine... In the past 30 years, caloric intake has increased by aprox 200 calories (source [latimes.com] source [cdc.gov] )

Doesn't sound like a lot.. but if you consume 200 calories more than you need, you'll gain 2lbs in a month.

200 calories easily adds up to obesity.

Re:Greed (2)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525704)

Your "simple visual comparison" needs to also take into account the US subsidizes corn growers, meaning they grow more corn than we need, and then convert the corn into sugars in a very toxic process that produces High Fructose Corn Syrup, or HFCS. [wikipedia.org]

The US puts this in most everything; almost every popular soda contains HFCS instead of sugar, because the subsidies make the cost of HFCS lower even though it requires more processing (expense) than sugar actually does -- as is evidenced by other countries, which do not subsidize corn growers, who use sugar as sweetener. HFCS is linked to obesity, as the body is not as prepared to deal with it as the body is with sugar.

In researching the link for the above, I recalled that Coca Cola makes a yellow-topped 2-liter during Passover; I bought a few of these last year, and thought they should sell it year-round. I also found a wiki page for OpenCola, [wikipedia.org] which had Cory Doctorow involved. 1.0 was 2001-01-27; it's up to 1.1.3 now. I think I'll see if I can find this drink somewhere nearby; if not, I'll order some. Thanks, geekmux, for helping to bring this to my attention.

Re:Greed (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527474)

Import your Coke from Australia, it's made with cane sugar over here.

Re:Greed (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526102)

And "vastly healthier" could be scientifically argued and proven wrong within the vegetarian community...not that you really need to when a simple visual comparison between the two groups is obvious enough.

Right, 'cause only meat causes obesity [livestrong.com] , and there's no such thing as a obese vegan [ajcn.org] ...

/sarcasm

Re:Greed (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38525014)

Billions of healthy, well fed, long living people today because of the most advanced, efficient and robust food supply the planet has ever seen: is yet another consequence of greed.

I hear North Korea is greed free. Maybe you should consider relocating. See, I can tell you don't live there because you can put your opinions here - in the land of greed.

Re:Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38525988)

False dilemma. The choice isn't between the US and North Korea.

Even if you think the US is considerably better, that doesn't make it good.

Meanwhile...elsewhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524942)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_thuringiensis ba-dum-*tish*

As a vegtarian: (0, Flamebait)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524944)

in the moment when you have practices in farming which require feeding antibiotics constantly to cows, i suggest you change something.

You know how to tell if someone is a vegetarian? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524986)

You know how to tell if someone is a vegetarian?

They will tell you.

Re:As a vegtarian: (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524992)

Meat gets antibiotics. Vegetables get synthetic fertilizer. No food source can feed the planet without modern agriculture techniques.

Re:As a vegtarian: (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525130)

I think the more apt comparison would be, vegetables get pesticides. And yes, even organic food get pesticides.

Re:As a vegtarian: (2)

ks*nut (985334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525240)

The planet can't support "modern agricultural techniques" which is right up there with military intelligence on the oxymoron list.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525610)

Widespread meat-eating just makes it less able to support them, though - the feedstuffs for the animals has to come from somewhere, meaning that they get farmed and have fertilizer and pesticides dumped on them, and a lot of the energy in those feedstuffs is wasted making meat a very inefficient source of food.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525338)

Meat gets antibiotics. Vegetables get synthetic fertilizer. No food source can feed the planet without modern agriculture techniques.

Considering mankind has survived without antibiotics and synthetic fertilizers for thousands of years, this is a rather distorted view, and is debatable given the greed and corruption behind the corporations that tell us we "need" these things in our food.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525454)

Meat gets antibiotics. Vegetables get synthetic fertilizer. No food source can feed the planet without modern agriculture techniques.

Considering mankind has survived without antibiotics and synthetic fertilizers for thousands of years, this is a rather distorted view, and is debatable given the greed and corruption behind the corporations that tell us we "need" these things in our food.

However, for these thousands of years the planet lacked the 7E9 humans that we need to feed today.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38525602)

Let's not forget that although humans "survived" there was horrible survivability rates and people were dieing very young constantly.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38525626)

During which time people suffered from disease and malnutrition and many people were subsistence farmers. If you want to send yourself back to those times, be my guest. I like not having to grow my own produce and slaughter my own animals.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525674)

Sure, but we'll have to kill off the majority of the populations of China, India, and Africa.

Re:As a vegtarian: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526576)

I think that's what climate change is for.

Re:As a vegtarian: (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526026)

For how many thousands of years have there been greater than one billion people on the planet? How do you expect to get the yields to feed that many people without modern agriculture techniques?

It's not greedy corporations that "tell us we 'need' these things in our food". You can go start a farm or garden today, refuse to use these products, and see how your yields turn out. People who grow organically today compete on quality for a reason, they can't get the yields factory farming does.

Not saying the corporate farming industry is without its faults, just being realistic here.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526936)

I raise antibiotic free meat. I know several other farmers who do as well. Modern agriculture techniques don't require that we keep animals in such poor conditions that they have to be sick all the time without antibiotics, and they don't require that margins be so slim as to require the growth boost that can be gained by feeding them in bulk. A far more modern view would look at the risks as well as the benefits.

Re:As a vegtarian: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38525018)

I am also a vegetarian and you need to realize that antibiotics are also sprayed on citrus fruits and vegetables.

Re:As a vegtarian: (2)

enormouspenis (741718) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525152)

http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=85455 [freshplaza.com] Many other growers use antibiotics on fruits and vegetables. In fact, antibiotic resistance likely comes more from excessive use in ranching and agriculture rather than direct use in humans IMHO.

4 part series on antibiotics in livestock (5, Informative)

wesborgmandvm (893569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525090)

As a veterinarian this is finality a topic on Slashdot I am qualified to talk about. However, rather than get into the details I am going to punt this one :)

Here is a four-part series on the struggle over the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry, the threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and the veterinary profession’s role in safeguarding animal and public health.

http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=18645 [vin.com]

It's All About Money (1)

ks*nut (985334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525162)

The FDA is looking out for the best interests of America's citizens. NOT!

Blatant trolling (5, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525278)

This summary might be the most misleading I've ever seen on slashdot.

For one thing, the FDA has almost no authority in many of their jurisdictions; they can recommend things, but in most cases have no power to change policy or punish reckless companies. This is especially true with meat and produce. Do some googling about dirty slaughterhouses and meat packing plants and you'll find accounts of the FDA actually pleading with meat packers and state health districts to stop distributing meat from plants that had floors, walls, and packing equipment test positive for wide varieties of serious food-borne pathogens. The same goes for packing plants that had open holes in the walls and ceilings, or rodents literally scurrying underfoot on the packing line. The FDA had absolutely no authority to mandate closure of those plants, and still doesn't as far as I know.

They shouldn't have withdrawn their recommendation against antibiotics in feed (saying the right thing is never wrong in science), but that recommendation never affected policy in the first place; it's total bullshit to imply, quite strongly, that the FDA just doesn't care anymore and thinks it's totally fine for meat producers to inspect themselves.

They don't think it's fine; they fucking hate it. At least the scientists do, and the field inspectors do. The FDA does have a lot of senior management who, by many internal accounts, dedicate themselves solely to rubber-stamping industry proposals - and harassing any pissant scientist who objects. If this new policy is half as blase or half as scientifically ignorant as the linked article implies, and indeed came about to dodge a lawsuit, you can bet it came from some ass-covering prick at the top who doesn't represent the viewpoints of even 10% of the FDA staff.

So ultimately, the FDA doesn't have the mandate, the funding, or the legal prerogative to do even one-tenth as much as the scientists and lower-management would like - and which organizations like the NRDC expect them to do. The politically appointed senior management pull bullshit like this, and people like the NRDC and the submitter use corruption at the highest levels to denigrate a lot of dedicated, well-meaning scientists by calling the whole organization a bunch of lazy sociopaths.

If you want safe food and better drug testing then don't piss on the FDA: you should bitch at Congress about the fucking pro-corporate morons they appoint to lead the FDA, and about the shitty laws and budgets that leave the FDA with not even half the money and authority they need to do the job we expect of them.

Re:Blatant trolling (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525348)

For one thing, the FDA has almost no authority in many of their jurisdictions; they can recommend things, but in most cases have no power to change policy or punish reckless companies.

That is a load of malarky [google.com] . Not to mention that The FDAâ(TM)s actions [washingtontimes.com] stand in contrast to other areas where the Obama administration has said it will take a hands-off approach to violations of the law, including the use of medical marijuana in states that have approved it, and illegal-immigrant students and youths, whom the administration said recently will not be targets of their enforcement efforts.

So ultimately, the FDA doesn't have the mandate, the funding, or the legal prerogative to do even one-tenth as much as the scientists and lower-management would like

GOOD. FUCKING GOOD. FUCK THE FDA UP THEIR CORPORATIST ASSES. And fuck the USDA while you're at it. Food pyramid indeed. Fats and oils, 1-2 servings? Suck me.

Nice Try (4, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525606)

Following your google search, I read the first three articles referencing food-related shutdowns. Every one, even the ones entitled "FDA shuts down" or claiming that the FDA "ordered" someone to stop production, ultimately acknowledged that the company "agreed" to cease production and signed a "consent decree" with the FDA.

So it's still exactly as I read in Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan books: the FDA finds violations and they have to whine, beg, and invoke publicity campaigns to get dirty producers to shut down or improve conditions. They still can't force anyone to do anything most of the time.

So anyway, thanks for playing, and judging by your second paragraph it's time for your thorazine, so please follow the nice nurse to your bedroom and she'll give you a nice gentle prick in the ass. Right where your opinions and your research come from.

Re:Nice Try (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526166)

Following your google search, I read the first three articles referencing food-related shutdowns. Every one, even the ones entitled "FDA shuts down" or claiming that the FDA "ordered" someone to stop production, ultimately acknowledged that the company "agreed" to cease production and signed a "consent decree" with the FDA.

Why would they agree to cease production just because they were asked? You have to be a total idiot to believe that they shut down because they were asked nicely. They were threatened with various and sundry and they caved in. To assume anything else is to be a total moron. So anyway, thanks for playing, but we still live in a capitalist system where people choose to make money until someone stops them.

Re:Nice Try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527482)

Why would they agree to cease production just because they were asked?

I would wager those businesses were probably breaking some law (as GP said, violating), or at least in a shady area, and those businesses decided that it's not worth it to fight it out in court

The FDA enforce the law, but they don't make the law. When they take down somebody, it has to be based off some law.

IANAL, so I don't know what laws the FDA can use regarding antibiotics. It's up to you and the GP/OP to provide evidence either way (and saying people would be a "total idiot" if they don't agree is not evidence)

Re:Blatant trolling (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525556)

They shouldn't have withdrawn their recommendation against antibiotics in feed (saying the right thing is never wrong in science)

There's a tiny chance they are smart enough to know that. Someone may be counting on the backlash. Can you think of a better way to get publicity without an actual food disaster?

Re:Blatant trolling (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527228)

Removing antibiotics from livestock wouldn't create a food disaster. At worst it would raise the quality of meat offered to Americans along with the price, but not in a catastrophic way.' It's already been done in europe - we're lagging behind, and so is the quality of our product as a result. http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/solutions/wise_antibiotics/european-union-bans.html [ucsusa.org]

Counterintuitive, even to a child (1)

Lexx Greatrex (1160847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525376)

FDA seeks to invest in foodborne illness prevention, medical product safety and countermeasures $4.3 billion request reflects a 33 percent increase from FY 2010 enacted budget

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requesting a budget of $4.3 billion to protect and promote the public health as part of the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget — a 33 percent increase over the FDA enacted budget for FY 2010. The FY 2012 request covers the period of Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012.

“FDA protects and promotes the health of all Americans through every stage of life,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs. “The breadth of this mandate means that FDA responsibilities continue to grow. The new budget contains new resources so that FDA can fulfill its growing responsibilities to the American public.” http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm243354.htm [fda.gov]

It is a supreme falsehood that a government's responsibilities and resources must grow. Bureaucracies like the FDA may be immune to democracy, but the politicians who seek to grow them are not.

Crazy says what? (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525772)

It is a supreme falsehood that a government's responsibilities and resources must grow. Bureaucracies like the FDA may be immune to democracy, but the politicians who seek to grow them are not.

So therefore any and all attempts at increasing government spending represent greedy politicians squeezing more cash out of the populace?

Even the most hardcore libertarians I know believe the government has taxation authority for transportation infrastructure, weights & measures enforcement, and a military - including growing those things when needed. But not you, you saw through even those bullshit arguments! Guess the next time I-90 buckles or a new town with 2 million people thinks that *maybe* it's time they got a freeway we'll have to point out that: "No! Lee Greatrex opened our eyes and we know that government spending shalt never grow!".

Wake up and smell the rotting pig entrails, pal. The FDA has been underfunded and under-mandated since the 70's. If I recall, they don't even get inflation adjustments under some congresses. Increasing their budget by 33% is still not even 1/10th of the budget and none of the authority that epidemiologists, food safety advocates, and drug company whistle-blowers think they need.

"voluntary self-policing"? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525462)

the FDA says that it will just continue to rely on 'voluntary self-policing' by the industry, the same method which hasn't worked out too well during the past 35 years

What idiot thinks that "voluntary self-policing" works in any for-profit business? There are two fundamental problems with that plan: (1) businesses will only "volunteer" to do what benefits them, not the public, and (2) many businesses are surprisingly short-sighted and will only "volunteer" to do things that help their industry or their business in the short-term.

Re:"voluntary self-policing"? (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525572)

What idiot thinks that "voluntary self-policing" works in any for-profit business?

It tends to "work" when there is the threat of regulation. Basically "regulate yourselves or we'll do it for you". Of course, the threat has to be credible.

Re:"voluntary self-policing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526846)

It tends to "work" when there is the threat of regulation. Basically "regulate yourselves or we'll do it for you". Of course, the threat has to be credible.

It does? I see very little evidence of that, and much to the contrary.

Once you let an industry police itself, you've created the conditions for systemic failure. Every agent is going to push the envelope (albeit often one step at a time), because that's how you gain a competitive advantage, and nobody wants to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Re:"voluntary self-policing"? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526592)

What idiot thinks that "voluntary self-policing" works in any for-profit business? There are two fundamental problems with that plan: (1) businesses will only "volunteer" to do what benefits them, not the public, and (2) many businesses are surprisingly short-sighted and will only "volunteer" to do things that help their industry or their business in the short-term.

My guess is that no one actually believes it. It's just that the FDA are, as another Slashdotter so eloquently put it, "corporate bitches". It is a real threat to our health and safety, and to our democracy itself, that the foxes have been put in charge of the henhouses. It is so intrinsically corrupt that the people who run these agencies were employed by, and upon their retirement from public "service", will be employed by, the agencies they are supposed to be regulating. It is a national disgrace. The United States has been on its way to becoming a classic third world country, except that much of the corruption here is actually legal.

on the other hand... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525552)

On the other hand, public discomfort with antibiotics has, in the last few years, created a market (albeit small) for organic meat. While it isn't available everywhere, many people do have a choice to "opt out" regardless of the FDA's lack of action.

Re:on the other hand... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526188)

A lot of good this is going to do considering that the whole point of the study was, antibiotics-resistant bacteria development is caused by prevalence of antibiotics-treated meat. Eating meat without antibiotics has absolutely no effect on the person until everyone else (or almost everyone else) does the same.

Hahahahaaa "voluntary self-policing" !!!!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38525832)

It works !! it works SO well that you can understand how well it works from the words from testimony of Alan Greenspan in front of senate inquiry committee regarding wall street :

"I dont understand why corporations didnt regulate themselves"

Unsupported statements in summary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526072)

I usually like NewYorkCountryLawyer, but I'm going to have to ask him for some proof for the statement "antibiotic use in livestock and antibiotic resistance have continued to rise throughout the entire period". I would offer the alternative that antibiotic use peaked, and then declined because overuse led to antibiotic resistance. Currently I believe that livestock antibiotic use is minimal, simply because frequent heavy use doesn't work well. And the livestock antibiotics is only a minor cause for the rise in antibiotic resistance. That resistance, which predates livestock use, is primarily caused by overuse in humans.

Re:Unsupported statements in summary. (2)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526980)

I usually like NewYorkCountryLawyer, but I'm going to have to ask him for some proof for the statement "antibiotic use in livestock and antibiotic resistance have continued to rise throughout the entire period". I would offer the alternative that antibiotic use peaked, and then declined because overuse led to antibiotic resistance. Currently I believe that livestock antibiotic use is minimal, simply because frequent heavy use doesn't work well. And the livestock antibiotics is only a minor cause for the rise in antibiotic resistance. That resistance, which predates livestock use, is primarily caused by overuse in humans.

I hope you didn't stop liking me. I was relying on the knowledgeable folks at Grist for the statement that the practice of feeding antibiotics to livestock not for treating disease, but for the purposes of promoting growth and enabling the use of more dangerous living conditions, has increased. I know that the total amount was estimated at 29,000,000 pounds per year [wired.com] , and that 80% of that is estimated to be for non-therapeutic uses.

Your statements about increased resistance and use of antibiotics actually miss the point; no one is complaining about use of antibiotics to treat disease. What we are talking about is the 80% of antibiotics which go into two nefarious uses for antibiotics in livestock: (1) to increase growth [for reasons still unknown, agribusiness discovered at some point that antibiotics promote growth] and (2) disease prevention.

While "disease prevention" sounds like an ok thing, it is really a code word for "enabling the animals to be kept in such inhumane and unlivable conditions that it is assumed that antibiotics are needed to prevent the diseases they would otherwise be given by such living conditions".

So while I can't put my fingers on the data regarding growth of these uses for antibiotics in animals, I can say with certainty that the use is about 10 times the amount of antibiotics used on humans, and that 80% of it is used for purposes other than medical treatment.

fda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526236)

you know if my tax dollars are going to continue to be abused by supporting corporate bitches like the FDA (and others) I'll just have to stop paying taxes.

Bicycle power! (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526730)

What does this mean for the eventual consumption of Soylent Green?!?!

This is horrible, but there are good alternatives (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526766)

Find a local farmer who doesn't use antibiotics - buy from them directly. In addition to my IT job, I have a small farm - we raise 45 - 60 pigs each year on open fields and without antibiotics in the food. We supplement the pigs grain with whey, acorns, and apples - the product we produce is of a much higher quality than is possible to find in a store, and by buying in bulk directly from the farmer I get more for my product and the end customer pays less.

There are good wholesome sustainable locally grown products almost wherever you are - find a small meat locker nearby and ask them or ask people at a local farmers market. If there is no one really close a lot of farms deliver - we sometimes drive up to three hours to deliver a pig (frozen and butchered) to a customer.

Ecoli lately? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527140)

NP - we will also continue to self police using human sewage in agriculture as well.

And when the antibiotics from modern science stop working to defeat mutated bacteria the self police (aka plague) will self correct the problem.

Another subject I know a lot about (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527362)

and I get to be sick at the +1 mod to stupid ignorant statements.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>