A recent Food Safety News editorial by Dan Flynn makes some good points and poses some thoughtful questions about the topic of antibiotic resistance.

 

“If I am reading scientists correctly, there are multiple theories for antibiotic resistance and agreement that some occurs naturally in the environment,” Flynn states. “Some of these theories involve antibiotic uses by both humans and animals. Yet, is it just me, or is antibiotics use in animal agriculture the only thing we hear about when antibiotic resistance comes up?”  

 

Flynn points out that last week ten U.S. Senators demanded that more antibiotic sales data be extracted from agricultural businesses. He says the senators then began the process of patting themselves on the back for their less than profound suggestions being the "beginning of the process of addressing the issue of antibiotic resistance."

 

Flynn observes, “If collecting more data about agricultural uses of antibiotics is the ‘beginning,’ then we are in trouble. Am I wrong to look at antibiotic resistance as a big circle with animal issues maybe involving a 25% slice with lots of other unknowns out there?”

 

He asks just who's articulating an overall scientifically-based strategy?  “People are dying in hospitals every day over antibiotic resistance, shouldn't somebody be taking this seriously?”

 

When U.S. Senators are questioning the use of "disease prevention" treatment for sick farm animals, might there not be some other agendas at work here?   I just have this feeling that allowing animal diseases to go untreated would not contribute to food safety,” Flynn says.

 

Read the entire Food Safety News editoral online here