More antibiotics and antibiotic resistant pathogens released into the air we breathe. The culprit, cattle in cattle feed yards fed antibiotics enriched cattle feed. Route of transmission, dried cattle urine, and feces scattered by the wind as tiny particulate matter (i. e. dirt and dust) according to Environmental Health Perspectives, “Dust Emissions from Cattle Feed Yards: A Source of Antibiotic Resistance?.”
The cattle do not digest approximately 80% of the antibiotics consumed. These undigested antibiotics along with their partially digested metabolites and antibiotic resistant pathogens via dried cattle urine and feces, potentially harmful to humans, spread across the land via runoff from rain, as manure, and wind. “There is evidence that, once in the environment, antibiotics and antibiotic-resistance genes in bacteria may facilitate new antibiotic resistance or directly transfer genetic resistance to other microbial populations.” 1
What is just as troubling is the fact that cattle are fed antibiotics not only to prevent disease but also to increase weight by as much as 20 pounds. Is this a healthy weight gain or just bloat? Not to mention the fact that we are ingesting these antibiotics the cattle absorb.
The three classes of antibiotics in question are monensin, tylosin, and the tetracycline antibiotics. Monensin is the only antibiotic of the three not approved for human consumption. It is shown that monensin does not confer “resistance against medically important classes of antibiotics.” 1 But what about tylosin and the broad-spectrum antibiotic tetracycline which is inexpensive, readily available, and effective against many bacterial diseases? This is something to consider! The half-life of tetracycline is approximately 30 to 180 days, more than enough time to increase and multiply tetracycline resistant bacteria. Not to mention the fact that these resistant strains are carried around the world given the right weather patterns.
What is to be done? For starters, reduce the number of gargantuan cattle feedlots. Big agribusiness and the very politic of their Washington lackeys certainly will not do this though. Stop feeding cattle antibiotics enriched corn and soy. Go back to range feeding of cattle. We can all do with a little less beef if it means producing a better and more healthful product.
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- (Seltenrich, 2015)
Click here to see entire article http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/123-a96/
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