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U.s. Uses 40 Tons Of Antibiotics A Day Just To Grow Food

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The United States consumes more than 50 tons of antibiotics a day—80% of which is not used for humans.

Rather, about 40 tons goes to promote agricultural production, such as giving antibiotics to cattle and chickens.

This practice has dire ramifications for human health, two experts warn, as the abundance of antibiotics in the food chain has resulted in drug-resistant bacteria that can leave people vulnerable to infections and other illnesses.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a critical threat to public health,” Aidan Hollis and Ziana Ahmed wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine. “The value of antibiotics for human health is immeasurable.”

Hollis, an economics professor at the University of Calgary, and Ahmed, an economist at the University of Toronto, estimated the U.S. goes through 51 tons of antibiotics a day. They estimate that each year The U.S. uses 13,540,000 kilograms (kg) for livestock, 3,290,000 kg for humans, 150,000 for aquaculture, 150,000 kg for pets and 70,000 kg for crops.

But, “the main use of this invaluable resource is rather disappointing: approximately 80% of antibiotics in the United States are consumed in agriculture and aquaculture,” they wrote.

Hollis and Ahmed say there is “a great deal of concern” that the overuse of antibiotics is “contributing to the development and spread of resistant organisms. Agricultural industry groups, in line with their short-term financial interests, argue that there is no conclusive proof that the antibiotics used in agriculture harm human health. Unfortunately, evidence is mounting that resistant pathogens are emerging and being selected for at least partly because of nonhuman uses of antibiotics”

Farmers and other agricultural industry groups have come to rely too much on these drugs to boost food production and achieve short-term financial gains, Hollis and Ahmed say. One solution, they argue, would be to impose a user-fee on the non-human application of antibiotics. This would discourage farmers from overusing these medicines.

“Modern medicine relies on antibiotics to kill off bacterial infections,” Hollis told Homeland Security News Wire. “This is incredibly important. Without effective antibiotics, any surgery—even minor ones—will become extremely risky. Cancer therapies, similarly, are dependent on the availability of effective antimicrobials. Ordinary infections will kill otherwise healthy people.”

He added: “The real value of antibiotics is saving people from dying. Everything else is trivial.”

That is fvcked up.

No wonder the boffins are saying that our human stock of antibiotics is almost ineffectual against once trivial bacterial infection.

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Short term thinking.

Although to be fair, no-one seems to treat antibiotics and the problem of resistance seriously. Doctors everywhere seem to give them out like smarties and I suspect the percentage of antibiotic courses which are never completed by the patient is rather high too.

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Short term thinking.

Although to be fair, no-one seems to treat antibiotics and the problem of resistance seriously. Doctors everywhere seem to give them out like smarties and I suspect the percentage of antibiotic courses which are never completed by the patient is rather high too.

I agree. They should only be used for situations that won't naturally heal or can't be treated some other way. Gangrenous leg? I fair case I think. Minor graze or sore throat that can be treated with TCP? Definitely not.

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That is fvcked up.

No wonder the boffins are saying that our human stock of antibiotics is almost ineffectual against once trivial bacterial infection.

The germs must die.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triclosan

Triclosan has been used since 1972, and it is present in soaps (0.10-1.00%), shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies,[7] and is incorporated into an increasing number of consumer products, such as kitchen utensils, toys, bedding, socks, and trash bags.[8][9] It is also found in health care settings in surgical scrubs and personnel hand washes.[10] Triclosan has been shown to be effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination on the hands and on treated products

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The germs must die.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triclosan

Triclosan has been used since 1972, and it is present in soaps (0.10-1.00%), shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies,[7] and is incorporated into an increasing number of consumer products, such as kitchen utensils, toys, bedding, socks, and trash bags.[8][9] It is also found in health care settings in surgical scrubs and personnel hand washes.[10] Triclosan has been shown to be effective in reducing and controlling bacterial contamination on the hands and on treated products

Judas Priest! Did you read the rest of the Wiki on that stuff.

I see very dark days ahead for the human race.

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Judas Priest! Did you read the rest of the Wiki on that stuff.

I see very dark days ahead for the human race.

I was reading something about it the other day.

The dark days are upon us I think.

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The overuse of antibiotics on the hospital wards and especially in the farm livestock industry is starting to nobble us in recent years, but there's light at the end of the tunnel and it's not End of Days just yet:

Myth: Scientists have run out of options for new antibiotics.

Fact: Scientists are currently looking into new types of antibiotics.

Although the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a real cause for concern, as there may be no means to treat seriously ill patients in the future, researchers are exploring novel sources for future antibiotic treatments.

Currently, no new antibiotics are in the pipeline, which is why researchers are looking for undiscovered bacteria in the cold, deep see trenches in the Arctic and Antarctic. They plan to do experiments with marine samples to test for unique chemical compounds that may one day be used as antibiotics. The researchers hope that the potential drugs discovered from their expedition could be ready in 10 years.

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I posted this on the ADHD thread:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bacterium-reverses-autism-like-behavior-in-mice

Autism epidemic linked to overuse of antibiotics?

It seems that the absence or lack of a certain bacteria in the gut of mice can lead to autism-like symptoms in mice. When mice that lack that bacteria have it injected into them they lose the autism-like symptoms. It turns out that humans are very similar to mice when it comes these gut bacteria and how they communicate with the brain.

Well, one person in the comments to that article has pointed out that we overuse antibiotics these days. Antibiotics kill good gut bacteria, perhaps leading to increases in autism?

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No they're not. They are often caused by the use of steroid nasal sprays however, as I have found out.

I stopped taking mine a few months ago. Mainly to see if I noticed a deteriaton without it.

I haven't so I wnt use it again.

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I posted this on the ADHD thread:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bacterium-reverses-autism-like-behavior-in-mice

Autism epidemic linked to overuse of antibiotics?

It seems that the absence or lack of a certain bacteria in the gut of mice can lead to autism-like symptoms in mice. When mice that lack that bacteria have it injected into them they lose the autism-like symptoms. It turns out that humans are very similar to mice when it comes these gut bacteria and how they communicate with the brain.

Well, one person in the comments to that article has pointed out that we overuse antibiotics these days. Antibiotics kill good gut bacteria, perhaps leading to increases in autism?

It's said that the gut is the second brain. I've noticed that my anxiety only became troublesome after i'd had about four courses of antibiotics in a short space of time (dental abscess - and subsequent extraction). Just anecdotal of course and I'm sure other factors may have been at play but hmmm I wonder....

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This is an interesting subject. It's hard to imagine people dying from ordinary infections, just as they must have done before the discovery of antibiotics. But I've yet to see hard data instead of opinion? I'm sure it's hard to quantify, but how many people are now dying from infection who otherwise would have survived?

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This is an interesting subject. It's hard to imagine people dying from ordinary infections, just as they must have done before the discovery of antibiotics. But I've yet to see hard data instead of opinion? I'm sure it's hard to quantify, but how many people are now dying from infection who otherwise would have survived?

The biggest problem is in the context of TB. Treating TB requires a minimum of 3 month course of treatment, and may require up to 2 years in severe cases. In addition, TB responds weakly to many antibiotics.

The problem with drug resistant TB is mainly in countries where health systems are not as robust and communications are not as good. However, best estimates are that there are approximately 40k cases of "extensively drug resistant" (XDR) TB per year in Africa and India. XDR TB is resistant to all the normal TB drugs and the majority of the 2nd-line drugs.

XDR TB is thought to have arisen due to careless treatment of multiple drug resistant (MDR) TB [resistant to the normal drugs] with inappropriately short courses of the 2nd line drugs.

There are a small number (a few tens of cases per year) of cases of extremely extensively drug resistant (XXDR) TB (sometimes called totally drug resistant TB) which are resistant to all normal and all 2nd line drugs. In practice there are a few remaining antibiotics, that although not very effective and with severe side effects, do have some activity against XXDR TB and people can be cured. The difficulty with these cases, is that the detailed testing is not always performed, or is not capable of being performed (for example, few hospital laboratories are equipped to test all the 2nd line drugs, so the diagnosis of XXDR is often speculative or pragmatic, based on the patient's continued deterioration despite treatment).

As far as more common infectious diseases go, then the problem is not quite as bad as people make out, and we are still a few steps ahead, but progress with new drug development has slowed recently, but the bugs don't appear to be slowing yet.

However, infections that could previously be treated with relatively low-cost and low-side effect drugs like penicillin or its derivatives (e.g. flucloxacillin) are increasingly needing more expensive drugs or drugs with more severe side effects. In general, in the UK, the drugs are available for any infection, even in highly vulnerable groups - but they are considerably more expensive and difficult to use.

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