Livestock antibiotics making our meat “a risk to our health”
Published on 22nd March 2016
Scientists have reported that excessive consumption of meat is posing a huge risk to human health. Overuse of antibiotics given to livestock means that within 30 years, superbugs which are normally cured with antibiotics will become resistant to such drugs.
Farmers are warned to limit the use of the antibiotics given to their livestock as many bacteria are now becoming increasingly immune to treatment. Lord O’Neill, who is leading the review on the threat of drug resistant superbugs said it’s vital that if you should eat meat, it must be cooked thoroughly. “I find it staggering that in many countries, most of the consumption of antibiotics is in animals, rather than humans. This creates a big resistance risk for everyone. We need to radically reduce global use of antibiotics and to do this we need world leaders to agree to an ambitious target to lower levels, along with restricting the use of antibiotics important to humans”
If the threat of resistant superbug continues to strengthen, within 30 years, the bacteria will claim more lives annually than cancer. Other experts have said that if human antibiotics cease to be effective, there will be a dramatic increase in deaths from routine procedures and minor ailments – including C-sections, appendectomies and even minor grazes.
Reducing the volume of antibiotics given to livestock will mean an increase in animal deaths, which then mean a lower supply of meat, forcing prices up. Could this also be a way to encourage a meat-free or meat reducing lifestyle?