Eideard

Banned antibiotics still found in poultry products

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In a joint study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Arizona State University found evidence suggesting that a class of antibiotics previously banned by the U.S. government for poultry production is still in use…

The study, conducted by the CLF and Arizona State’s Biodesign Institute, looked for drugs and other residues in feather meal, a common additive to chicken, swine, cattle and fish feed. The most important drugs found in the study were fluoroquinolones—broad spectrum antibiotics used to treat serious bacterial infections in people, particularly those infections that have become resistant to older antibiotic classes. The banned drugs were found in 8 of 12 samples of feather meal in a multi-state study. The findings were a surprise to scientists because fluoroquinolone use in U.S. poultry production was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005…

The rendering industry, which converts animal byproducts into a wide range of materials, processes poultry feathers into feather meal, which is often added as a supplement to poultry, pig, ruminant, and fish feeds or sold as an “organic” fertilizer. In a companion study, researchers found inorganic arsenic in feather meal used in retail fertilizers. If you need something else to worry about.

“The discovery of certain antibiotics in feather meal strongly suggests the continued use of these drugs, despite the ban put in place in 2005 by the FDA,” said David Love, PhD, CLF Project Director and lead author of the report. “The public health community has long been frustrated with the unwillingness of FDA to effectively address what antibiotics are fed to food animals…”

In the U.S., antibiotics are introduced into the feed and water of industrially raised poultry, primarily to make them grow faster, rather than to treat disease. An estimated 13.2 million kilograms of antibiotics were sold in 2009 to the U.S. poultry and livestock industries, which represented nearly 80 percent of all antibiotic sales for use in humans and animals in the U.S. that year…

Researchers also found caffeine in 10 of 12 feather meal samples. “This study reveals yet another pathway of unwanted human exposure to a surprisingly broad spectrum of prescription and over-the-counter drugs,” noted study co-author Rolf Halden…

The FDA continues to rely on fox-based testing to see if henhouses are safe. FDA reliance on industry self-policing obviously is inept, incompetent or based on lies – with this discovery of antibiotic use that was banned six years ago.

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Written by Ed Campbell

April 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

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