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New Study Shows Antibiotics Sprouting In Vegetables Too!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009   

St. Louis, MO - Missourians have long been exposed to antibiotics in meat and milk, but now such drugs have been found in vegetables we eat as well. Producers feed large doses of antibiotics to farm animals raised in confinement to increase growth and stave off infections. Now, tests conducted at the University of Minnesota have discovered such antibiotics sprouting up in corn, potatoes and lettuce grown in soil fertilized with livestock manure, and health officials fear this can promote resistant strains of bacteria in food and the environment.

Kathleen Logan-Smith of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment says there is a need for occasional antibiotics, but their overuse by the confined-animal livestock industry needs to stop.

"We are seeing more infections and we are seeing people die from them, and that should be enough to get folks' attention."

Logan-Smith says the findings give another reason to question the impact of very large confined-animal feeding operations on Missourians' health and pocketbooks.

"It concentrates the waste and it concentrates the wealth higher into the corporate structure, but it doesn't do anything for the farmers and it doesn't do anything for making Missouri communities richer."

Logan-Smith believes Missourians would be better off going back to traditional pasture-based livestock farming which, she says, would lead to better livestock management and less dependency on antibiotics.

Livestock producers contend that the spread of resistant strains of bacteria stems from the overuse of all medicines used to treat infectious diseases in both humans and animals. Antibiotics are generally used more frequently in larger-scale operations where animals are more stressed. A full study is underway to grow crops for a full season in antibiotic-laced manure and analyze the data.

For more information on the study, go to
www.environmentalhealthnews.org




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