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India's farmed chickens dosed with world's strongest antibiotics, study finds (theguardian.com)
495 points by Gupie on Feb 2, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 192 comments



This article has more info: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-game-of-chicken-how-...

Some highlights:

"In India, at least five animal pharmaceutical companies are openly advertising products containing colistin as growth promoters.

One of these companies, Venky’s, is also a major poultry producer. Apart from selling animal medicines and creating its own chicken meals, it supplies meat directly and indirectly to fast food chains in India such as KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Domino’s."

"McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Domino’s said the chicken they sourced from Venky’s is not raised on growth-promoting antibiotics and their suppliers follow their policies controlling their use of antibiotics.

McDonald’s has pledged to phase out the use of critically important antibiotics by 2018 for markets including the EU and the U.S. — with an extra year for phasing out colistin in Europe.

KFC has made a similar promise about its U.S. supply chains. They have promised to do the same in India, but without giving any timeframe.

Jubilant FoodWorks (which owns Domino’s) has set a date, of 2019, to start phasing out the drugs."

From Venky's wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_H_Group):

"In December 2010, the group launched Venky's Xprs, a fast food restaurant specializing in chicken. The first outlet opened in Pune, India."


Curiously, antibiotics were used widely in the USA for weight gain in agricultural animals. It go to the point the sales agents would take them too, and have annual 'weigh-ins' at the sales conventions!

Here's an article about it (if you can fight past the popup ads):

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2014/03/14/are...


Could someone tell me how antibiotics promotes weight gain in livestock? Is the use of antibiotics only a necessity because so many animals are kept in close quarters? What about antibiotics causing weight gain in humans?


The immune system is reactive and takes both energy and nutrients. Antibiotics reduce this expenditure which adds up over time.

Consider how many of these steps involve cell growth and or tissue damage that needs to be repaired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGOcOUBi6s

TLDR; Low dose antibiotics don't eliminate infections, but by reducing their growth the immune system puts far less effort into defense.


Wouldn't low dose antibiotics be more likely to create antibiotic resistant bacteria than high dose?


Precisely. Constant exposure to less-than-therapeutic doses of antibiotics is a huge source of resistance. The bacteria in an animal with low doses or antibiotics are not exposed to enough of the drug to outright kill them, but the bacteria start to develop defenses. Bacteria can evolve extremely rapidly -- they don't even need to reproduce, as bacteria can exchange DNA horizontally[1].

Also, this is why if your doctor prescribes a course of antibiotics you should always complete the entire course, even if you feel fine. Stopping the antibiotics early can select for resistant strains.

1. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/resistance...


>Stopping the antibiotics early can select for resistant strains.

Some people are claiming this is not supported by evidence: http://www.bmj.com/content/358/bmj.j3418.full

Previous HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15311274


Depends on what you do with the 'saved' medication.

If you get 5 day subscription stop on day 3, then take the rest next week that's bad.


Ah, that's relatively recent in the literature, and I found a reference to it at the NIH[1] as well.

I'm glad for all the research into causes of antibiotic resistance, and if medicine comes up with a better way to treat infections and minimize resistance, I'm all for it.

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines...


I was extremely fascinated by bacterial resistance growth mechanisms (DNA exchange). It was the first time I realized how immensely complicated the biosystem is at lower level. The 2nd time I had this feeling was when introduced to space of possible protein structures & the futility of prediction strategies. Suddenly the “known universe” and things like “number of known stars” started looking “reasonably sized” or even small.

Fascinating stuff. People can read more about it here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_structure_prediction


> The 2nd time I had this feeling was when introduced to space of possible protein structures & the futility of prediction strategies. Suddenly the “known universe” and things like “number of known stars” started looking “reasonably sized” or even small.

This is a common experience in combinatorics ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinatorics ).

Similar things happen when beginner programmers (like me!) try to solve chess by recursing/looping through possible moves (there are about 10^123 separate paths, if duplicate configurations are merged together), or brute-force a cryptographic hash/key (2^k possibilities for keys of length k; keys of length 2048 and above are common).

The "standard big number" that gets thrown around when pop-sci articles talk about this stuff is the number of atoms in the observable universe, which is estimated at around 10^80. It irks me that this is used so much for comparison, since combinations of things are so overwhelmingly larger than collections of things that it feels like a category error to compare them.

After all, "the number of atoms in the observable universe" isn't a particularly intuitive quantity; unlike, say, "football field" as a unit of length or "bag of sugar" as a unit of mass/weight (UK media loves to use the latter; since a bag of sugar is 1kg, it shows off both their laziness and lack of faith in their audience...).

Also, picking "the number of atoms in the universe" is really trying hard; yet these combinatorial numbers (protein foldings, chess positions, etc.) are actually small, everyday examples! People have no problems (either conceptually or practically) with playing board games, choosing passwords, etc. despite these large numbers lurking in there.

The "atoms in the universe" number would be a hopeless comparison if we really tried to make a big combinatorial number. For example, "the number of binary sequences that can be represented by all the world's computer storage"; a quick Google search estimates the world's data storage as 295 exabytes, so that makes this number around 256^(295 * 10^18)


> It irks me that this is used so much for comparison, since combinations of things are so overwhelmingly larger than collections of things that it feels like a category error to compare them.

I think this is the core of the issue. "Atoms in the universe" is only such a relatively 'small' number if you assume that the way they're arranged is unimportant.


one thing, if you were talking keys of length 2048, your talking RSA, and to break it you are applying GNFS, not trying all the numbers up to 2^2048.

2^2048 is so astronomically large a number it has no universe sized meaning, its likely way way more than any discrete chunking you can do of stuff in the whole universe.

Something like 2^128 or 2^256 are more common 'brute' force type numbers, which would correspond to trying every key in a symmetric cipher like AES or a public key signature in ECDSA

2^256 is similarly quite large, but we can practically estimate this to be about the number of atoms in tens of thousands of galaxies.


Yes. The long term consequences don't factor in though because the immediate gains in production and profits are too attractive.

Whether or not people understand, believe the concerns are overblown or believe that we'll always be one step ahead, or will only stop when things get really bad, amounts to the same thing; misuse of anti-biotics.

It's a very human behavior to prefer a pound of cure to an ounce of prevention. It's magnified when you won't be responsible for the cure or the cost of it yourself. It's a weight that will be borne by all of society.


That is precisely the concern.


In cattle, certain antibiotics shift the composition of the bacteria in their digestive system and help them better deal with corn heavy feed (both extracting more energy from the feed and also mitigating illnesses due to the feed mix).

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an285

There is also other growth promotion due to antibiotics.


In addition to the mechanisms described by others, it seems that antibiotics alter the microbiome in a manner that affects nutrient metabolism.

source: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11400

abstract: Antibiotics administered in low doses have been widely used as growth promoters in the agricultural industry since the 1950s, yet the mechanisms for this effect are unclear. Because antimicrobial agents of different classes and varying activity are effective across several vertebrate species, we proposed that such subtherapeutic administration alters the population structure of the gut microbiome as well as its metabolic capabilities. We generated a model of adiposity by giving subtherapeutic antibiotic therapy to young mice and evaluated changes in the composition and capabilities of the gut microbiome. Administration of subtherapeutic antibiotic therapy increased adiposity in young mice and increased hormone levels related to metabolism. We observed substantial taxonomic changes in the microbiome, changes in copies of key genes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates to short-chain fatty acids, increases in colonic short-chain fatty acid levels, and alterations in the regulation of hepatic metabolism of lipids and cholesterol. In this model, we demonstrate the alteration of early-life murine metabolic homeostasis through antibiotic manipulation.


The observable is that many antibiotics increase "feed efficiency". It's an aggregate measure, so perhaps it just reflects lower incidence of subclinical infection. And it permits high-density management, which increases the risk of infectious diseases.


No one knows, but it had an effect for every antibiotic tested in this study http://time.com/4082242/antibiotics-obesity/


Also Makes me wonder, Do children having trouble gaining weight ever get prescribed antibiotics?


Good explanation of the history, but I'm a little confused as to what the gained weight is (muscle or fat) - having obese animals probably isn't desirable when they are for food


It's actually very desirable. Fat is an important component in a lot of things we eat. For one thing, we need fat. For another thing, it's delicious. All of the things you really love to eat have a lot of fat in them.

There's a big reason that people breed animals to be obese. I grew up on a sheep and chicken farm. And to be honest, a lot of people would not eat those animals. They are lean, and gamey. Not like anything you would buy in any store.

Personally, I love it, and it makes me sad that I can't buy anything like it in NYC. Not even stuff that claims to be cage-free or organic or whatever. You just can't get that stuff here.

But it has a lot less fat than what you buy in the store. Fat is basically flavor for chefs. Whether it's butter or animal fat or vegetable oil, fat is where it's at.

The more obese an animal is, the better it's going to taste when you cut it up and cook it. That's just an unfortunate truth. When there's a market for something, people find a way to produce it.

The market is for massive amounts of white meats with a lot of fat you can render. That's what people buy, so that's what people sell.


>I grew up on a sheep and chicken farm. And to be honest, a lot of people would not eat those animals. They are lean, and gamey. Not like anything you would buy in any store

Funny you mention this, as recently I accidentally bought an older chicken at the store (a younger one half the size was the same price).

It probably would've worked for coq au vin, but roasting it was a bit of a mistake - meat was quite tough, although I turned it into an okay salad


That was much more informative than I expected. Thanks!


Were? Did this change?


>Venky's

Took me a few seconds to remember where I knew that name from. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39872280

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/feb/18/blackb...

They are also running one of English soccer's most historic clubs into the ground.


To be clear, Jubilant Foodworks is the master franchisee for Domino’s in India. They don’t own Domino’s Pizza.


I've had bad experience with the food from venky's. But this might be confirmation bias, since I never ordered anything from them again and it could've been a one off scenario.

Though I wonder what the long/short term effects of consuming such poultry would be.


Time to bring out the big guns and heavy fines (like the GDPR fines), but it will never happen with the current crop of corrupt politicians.

All in the name of profit.


Sadly, if international pressure can’t get Norway, Iceland and Japan to stop hunting whales to extinction we probably have little hope of it pressurising Indian into not producing an antibiotic epidemic.


Then stop eating in such places. Stop eating chicken that comes from such places. Consumer pressure always helps.


Consumer pressure only works if consumers a) actually care, and b) have enough information to make informed choices. Most people only look at the prices when shopping for groceries. No meat I've ever seen had information about the treatments the animals received.


Assuming you're in the states, here's labeling information: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety...

And specifically, information about organic labeling for livestock (one requirement of which is no antibiotics): https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Organic%2...


Note that nobody is forcing you to buy and eat meat. There is enough food variety out there nowadays to make it possible to live without eating much meat or at all.


It’s there - I’m vegetarian and I’ve noticed it. Depending on how organic certification works where you are, sometimes this covers it.


Consumer pressure is no substitute for regulatory action.


It can be. There are lots of stories of USDA inspections being lax. For example (https://www.motherjones.com/food/2015/02/usda-whistleblowers...). Meanwhile, the meat industry is investing in "clean meat" with surprising alacrity due to consumer demand (https://www.gfi.org/2017-a-wake-up-call-for-the-meat-industr...).


of course it can be. in a market if stuff is not accepted anymore it stops being sold and practices change. We can still have a fUnctional economy without 30 volumes of new regulation written every single year.


Unfortunately (or fortunately) I don't live in the countries where this happens, however I only eat meat maybe once or twice a week anymore, rest is vegetarian or fish.

Not that our (Norwegian) farmed fish industry is much better.

In any case, this has a negative impact on the whole world if a new bacteria that is resistant grows from these farms, that's why I was suggesting the big guns.


Yeah I was shocked when I learned that the Norwegian aquaculture industry was actually worse (at least lower guarantees) due to Norway not being in the EU ! I don't buy animal flesh myself but I bring it up occasionnally to consumer friends.


> rest is vegetarian

does that mean you consume eggs and cow's milk?


From https://aphascience.blog.gov.uk/2016/11/18/colistin-an-antib...

"Colistin is considered a drug of last resort in human medicine" but also "It has been used in Europe for decades to treat intestinal infections in farm animals, although in the UK, it has only more recently been used to treat infections in animals"

The Guardian article paints a picture of developing countries irresposibly using colistin for animals, but I dont think that is the full story here.


Good link, although the article claims colistin is being used as a growth promoter, ie fed to healthy animals, not to "to treat intestinal infections" as in Europe.


I don't think it really matters how it's being painted. If it's true/fact (and we are here discussing it), then it's a problem that needs solving, period. Let's not devolve this into "but you did it first so I can do it too" detractions that won't help prevent biological consequences for the rest of society.


I think it's also important to understand historical context. The "painting" make it seems like the "others" don't know what they're doing


If they understand what they're doing, why are they doing it then?

This is grossly irresponsible. People will die over it.


Indeed people will die over it. But you have to make a convincing argument about changing behaviour as opposed to playing a variant of white man's burden.


In Europe, it's used to treat sick large animals, which are very expensive to replace. (Cows cost over a thousand dollars) In India, it is fed to 100% of healthy chickens to make them grow faster, because their immune systems don't have to deal with bacteria anymore, and so more energy goes into growth. The number of reproducing bacteria being exposed to antibiotics, (and therefore with a chance to develop immunity) is orders of magnitude higher with what Indians are doing than with what Europeans are doing.


(meta) I suggest to deliver a counter-argument instead of downvoting and flagging an argument you don't like.


Is this comment directed at me? I did provide a counter argument, and I didn't downvote or flag anyone.


While not quite the same thing, this reminds me of that time when tramadol was found in tree bark in Cameroon and misclassified as a natural product for a while:

> [You] can indeed extract tramadol from the stated species – there’s no doubt about it. You can extract three of its major metabolites, too – its three major mammalian metabolites. That’s because, as it turns out, tramadol is given extensively to cattle (!) in the region, so much of it that the parent drug and its metabolites have soaked into the soil enough for the African peach/pincushion tree to have taken it up into its roots.

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2014/09/15/wei...


Research by the Centre for Science and Environment revealed that 70% of the milk sold in India is adulterated [1]. Unfortunately, there are little or no checks by the government agencies and businesses continues to sell adulterated products. People sell milk prepared out of refined oil and detergents. It has been covered widely [2], but the practice continues unabated.

It becomes hard to trust those selling organic stuff (milk, vegetables or chicken) as they are practically willing to supply as much quantity as one wants to procure.

Even vegetables sold in India are dangerous [3].

[1] http://www.cseindia.org/content/adulterated-milk-what-indian...

[2] https://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/01/10/most-indian-m...

[3] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Lucknow/Veggies-on-...


"Adulterated" mostly means "diluted with water".To be honest "diluted milk from milk man" is not news to Indians :) Also, only 8% had residue of detergents mainly due to improper cleaning of the containers (if you buy loose milk instead of packaged). Most families in India make yogurt at home and the typical way to gauge the dilution is to look at the thickness of the yogurt made out of the milk.


>Adulterated" mostly means "diluted with water

Decidedly false. The milk vendors add chemicals such as boric acid and paint thinners. Extremely harmful to the health.


In the linked article, "adulterated" doesn't refer to "dilute with water". Milk being sold here is mostly synthetic: made out of detergents and vegetable oil. There have been videos of people involved in doing so and they've claimed it's pretty tough to detect as the amount of yogurt or cheese obtained from such milk is often similar to what one would obtain from pure milk or even slightly better.


From the link (http://www.cseindia.org/content/adulterated-milk-what-indian...) you posted, at the bottom :

"Water, most common adulterant

Water turned out to be the most common adulterant in milk. It reduces the nutritional value of milk."


> Also, only 8% had residue of detergents

Only 8%? Well, then it's all fine then. Nothing to worry about at all.


Original poster didn't make any mention of water in the 70%, but quoted detergents. I quoted the real value, which is 8%.


How much is it from our own households and silverware?


My personal solution has been to give up all animal products.


How does that help with the adulterated vegetables?


First of all, why does it need to? It's so tiring when a solution is thrown out just because it doesn't solve everything. A very common argument against vegans is "well, animals (like rats, mice) are still (accidentally) killed in harvesting grains". Yeah, so? That could be prevented with better care harvesting, and also not eating animal products is a massive reduction already vs. the amount of animals kill from grain harvesting.


I think the argument is that our entire food supply is corrupted / adulterated so switching your diet from one type of organism to another doesn't improve the issue since both organisms are being treated with "corruptions" (genetic modification, pesticides, chemicals that aid growth). Unless you are saying that the adulteration in vegetables and grains is less harmful to humans than that in animals the solution proposed doesn't improve "adulteration".

(I don't really agree with either viewpoint I'm just trying to explain the argument)


Animal tissue unlike plant tissue accumulates stuff magnitudes more.

Bioaccumulation of harmful substances as we rise through the food chain is a known issue.

Using our best antibiotics to produce 60 billion chickens per year is a state financed suicide and not at all a free market mechanism.


A grain sprayed with herbicide or a fruit sprayed with an insecticide is going to accumulate in your meat just as well as it will in a chicken, but I agree it will concentrate in predators (like salmon) and omnivores (like humans).

What I don't understand is how the unregulated shipment of of a antibiotic from one country (where it is controlled) for a chicken industry in another country (one of whom was actually bought by pharma company in India) to increase profits of both private companies is "state financed suicide and not at all a free market mechanism". It sounds exactly like laissez faire capitalism exploitation due to bypass of state regulation.


Much of India is already vegetarian and it doesn't solve the problem of unscrupulous vendors, see vegetables [3] above. So not only are there e.coli on your vegetables, but they contain human active hormones because of an unregulated market. No one is arguing that meat consumption is better for the environment, just that the post you're responding to explicitly refers to the vegetable issue as well.


> Why does it need to?

I'm sure you'd rather your romaine not come with a free side of E. coli.

If the majority of the food supply is tainted, your choices from within it doesn't affect the rest.


Who at all is using antibiotics to prevent E. coli on vegetables? I thought that's why vegetables need to be washed first.


Nobody is dosing vegetables with antibiotics. Bacteria that are pathological for plants generally want nothing to do with the warm, oxygenated environment of people.


The post user spraak was responding to, who's content I was responding to, which you responded to contained the final line:

Even vegetables sold in India are dangerous [3].

and the reference [3] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Lucknow/Veggies-on-...

which refers to the human active hormones/steroids that are put in Inidan vegetables in a similar effort to marginally improve their yield with unknown, but probable systemic and ecological effects. The point being that unregulated food markets of any sort will lead to unhealthy and societally damaging "externalities" even in the predominantly vegetarian India.


That I can agree with 100%


I wonder how much corruption is at play here - normally it would be the primary job of a food safety agency or the agency controlling medical supplie(r)s to prevent colistin going into farming.

And that's not an Indian (or Chinese) only problem - pumping up livestock with antibiotics is common practice. I wonder when I won't go to a doctor to get antibiotics, but to the next butcher...


And it's not even limited to land animals: salmon (fish in general), shrip, etc. farms rely on antibiotics to maximize animals per cubic meter.

I rarely eat meat and stopped eating Sushi because of this. It's very hard to find out where your food comes from in restaurants.


There is a documentary on netflix called rotten which I think you will find to be very interesting. It talks about corruption in the food industry. It is very easy to integrate unverified sourced food into the global food chain.


I wonder if Libertarians incorporate into their economic view that companies tend to do whatever they can get away with if it helps the bottom line, even if this is ultimately harmful?


Could you please not take HN threads on generic ideological tangents? They're off topic here because like all generic threads, they're predictable, and like all political threads they lead to flamewars.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I would describe myself as a pragmatic libertarian; part of the reason for the adjective is that, yes, I acknowledge the need for regulation in cases like this.


By that definition, I think every single human being would describe themselves as "pragmatic libertarian".


Given the existence and size of anti-liber{tarian, al} movements in today's politics, I very much doubt this.


Yeah, no. A pragmatic libertarian would reach for regulations only when no other option exists. I would say a lot of human reach for regulations as the first option.


What do you see as the "first line" options if a company is behaving maliciously and consumer choice alone hasn't put them out of business?

I'd rather have some kind of regulation at that point rather than, say, media shaming - the former is more likely to result in a process that looks at evidence when deciding if enforcement is needed, versus hysteria.


When you really start to talk to libertarians, you'll find lots of exceptions. There are concepts like geo-libertarianism (lease land for use in a utilitarian fashion, essentially what countries like Mexico do where you can't own land, but you can get a 99 year lease). Many libertarians will say they support some form of health care, police, fire, etc, etc.

I think there's a lot of cognitive dissonance in the views of many (not all) libertarians, and they don't want to acknowledge China and India are pretty much perfect cases of true or extreme versions of that system (more due to the inability to enforce regulations than lack of regulations themselves).

High standards are only really enforceable through high socialized systems, like those in the US, EU, AU, Singapore, Japan, etc. You need to have national standards to guarantee food safety, water safety (bottled water is less safe than tap water in developed nations with municipal water regulation, and cost way less or is free), minimum standards for health, doctor certifications (vs quacks selling snake oil), et cetera.



What is it with Hacker News and unprovoked attacks on libertarians?

(but since I can't resist)

Of course libertarians consider self-interest in their thinking about a free society. Your key term is "get away with" and it points to the problems with regulatory agencies.

When a government body has placed its seal of approval on a product, it does two things:

a) Causes many consumers to trust the benefits / safety of the product, since the government said it's ok. (And they never lie to us, right?)

b) Gives the corporation wiggle room within the certification, potentially changing the product for the worse while maintaining its approval.

But if you take a step back, the limited-liability corporation is a fiction of the state in the first place. Hiding behind a "corporate person" could be a huge factor in bad behavior, enabled by state action. After the financial crisis in 2008, many lamented the fact that none of the bankers went to jail (although some corporations were heavily fined).

Perhaps limited liability is the problem. If members of corporations were on the hook personally for injury to consumers, they might behave better?


Your thesis is 100% inconsistent with the history of food safety regulations.

Sure, put the people in corporations personally liable without any government agency inspecting.

You're going to a society ten times more litigious than the US. People with no economic recourse to sue will get the short stick of things.

Your proposition is beyond ridiculous, and that's what merits attacks on the profound naivete of libertarian approaches.


> the profound naivete of libertarian approaches

I'd generalize to the "profound naivete of utopian approaches"


The old joke is "Communism is an amazing system, it's a shame no one has ever tried it" - in reference to the fact that Communism in places like the USSR wasn't really what the original proposers of it as an idea where suggesting.

I think the same applies to libertarianism, it sounds good and clean but in reality human systems are like humans, messy chaotic and fickle.

I think when it comes to regulation of a company you need the carrot and the stick, the carrot is "good PR and been seen to be a good corporate citizen that treats staff well results in betters sales" and the stick is "If you break the law their will be consequences and these are the laws".

The problem with western markets (at least in my country (the UK)) is that we've moved away from the stick towards the US model of laissez-fair capitalism.

Of course people then make the argument "Well the US model can't be that broken, it's the number one economy in the world" without considering the last century historically.

The US is a massive economy but it also didn't get trashed in two world wars that nearly bankrupted it and was ideally placed to capitalize on them, it had all the advantages of the late industrial revolution/western civilization and vast amounts of resources.

It would have been hard for it's economy not to succeed.


Huh. Utopian == libertarian. Thank you for connecting those dots for me.


> Your thesis is 100% inconsistent with the history of food safety regulations.

Source?

> People with no economic recourse to sue will get the short stick of things.

How is that different than now?

> Your proposition is beyond ridiculous

Say you, without providing any proposition of your own.


Go google "history of food safety" yourself. C'mon.


> What is it with Hacker News and unprovoked attacks on libertarians?

Probably because some libertarians always have the generic comment of taxation is theft. When I ask them who should pay for the military I don't get a reply back.


Also try asking them for a single successful market that embraces libertarian ideas. There are none (apparenty bitcoin comes closest). Apparently it's just never been tried successfully, because of reasons.

It's funny, because they like to rag on communists who say exactly the same thing. Two sides of a utopian dream coin.


People already care very-little about this problem enough to convince their governments to do something about it. That applies to the Indian populace, as well as other countries that aren't currently pressuring/sanctioning/bombing India to prevent a biological disaster (so we're told).

So I don't really see how your criticism against Libertarianism applies here because governments are letting it happen right now. It's only you, and what appears to be a minority of individuals, that cares about it. If it were a majority, then Democracy would be fixing it right now, right?

And, to answer your actual question: I can't answer it for every single person out there. That's how non-government solutions look like. Each individual voting, acting and caring about each specific problem in his or her own way. Libertarianism is the ultimate form of Democracy in that regard.


Well, apparently we do have trillions of laws and regulations and companies still can allmost do whatever they want. Because people still buy it as most consumers don't give a shit. Or (imagine) that they can't afford to care.

This is the root problem I believe. Poverty and stupidity. So in my imaginary libertarian world, people are rich and smart enough(because they learned to think and act for themselves) to avoid companies, who do practice things like that. And therefore those companies would go bankrupt.

(oh and for more direct harmful actions like pollution water/air, allmost all Libertarians would agree to direct action against)


The answer seems, then, "No".

These laws and institutions to enforce them do not exist in india, that's the problem

They do in the EU, and this doesn't happen.

Markets are economic systems that separate people into amoral atoms that have no mechanism to turn moral agreement into general behaviour. Even if I agreed something should happen, my isolation from others makes my individual actions a form of charity and an injury to myself.

If one company refrains from pollutants, it is "donating" profits to a moral cause not persuasive to other businesses. Yet if all-at-once agreed, no business is making a loss with respect to another.

I cannot really imagine what place libertarians really want to live in. They seem to think morality is an individual action radically isolable from cooperation with others. It isnt. The attempt to make it one creates markets for murder, rape, etc. as natural concequences of people's moral isolation.


Even Homo Economicus might change behaviour if presented with accurate information like requiring treated meat to be labelled as such. After all how can you make a rational, self interested, decision in the absence of complete and accurate information?

Given the amount of industry resistance to any and all changes in labelling regulations I think both sides are well aware of this.


Did you originally wanted to reply to my comment?

Anyway, what I see right now is, more and more food companies in germany are voluntarily adding in more and more transparency about the production chain. Because people are more conscious about it and more likely to buy things, which seems more ethical than the alternative. And if they cheat, well, there are still things like investigative journalism and whistleblowing .. so most companies would not dare, I believe.


"They seem to think morality is an individual action radically isolable from cooperation with others"

Morality is allways individual action, as we are all individuals. Also if we individuals decide to form a group, for example for insurance and help those in need.

"If one company refrains from pollutants, it is "donating" profits to a moral cause not persuasive to other businesses"

Unless it openly adverts about this practice amd people who do care, are therefore willing to spend more money on this company.

This is happening a lot right now with organic food and other things (sure, some might only do it, for themselve - better food quality, but not all and even those still feel better, as they know they also help biodiversity and a enjoyable landscape)

edit: and those laws don't exist there, because people don't care there. Laws are just another way of expressing the will of people. I just prefer laws to be the last way and not the standard.


Our bodies are physically isolated from others.

Our emotions, ideas, etc. are not.

When a crowd at a football game emotes, they all emote together.. inevitably and causally functioning as a coherent whole. Because the individuals cannot chose their reactions, they react the same way. They adopt a purpose, agency, goals and emotional structure that is only rationally intelligble when applied to the whole group.

Morality is founded in this inevitable common reaction to circumstances which binds people together under common purpose. Isolating people destroys their ability to act acording to their moral desires... you impair yourself to be how you would wish to be.

That's to say nothing of the mere collective action problems involved in any system of "mere individuals" whose cooperation cannot be guaranteed.

NB. incidentally, (nearly?) all human success is founded in coherent group action. The individual is a stupid useless distractable ape. Only in concert with a common-purpose-with-others do we succeed.

This is, after all, what a "business" is.


"When a crowd at a football game emotes, they all emote together.. inevitably and causally functioning as a coherent whole. Because the individuals cannot chose their reactions, they react the same way. "

Definitely not. Only if I feel part of the group, I feel and emote with the group. But if I think football(or soccer) is stupid and the crowd full of stinking alcoholics, then you won't find me cheering with the group. I experienced both. But that's also why you won't find me near a stadium.

But with society in a bigger context, it is not so easy to choose.


Yeah, you're a lone wolf.

No you arent. You're an ape. You arent chosing anything you feel, including this rebelliousness which may have its origins in fear of unpredictable group emoting.

I have that fear too, I am equally mistrusful of groups and of authority.

But that mechanism is merely a feedback cycle into group emotional regulation. Your fear is just another tool of group cohesion.

We are fundamentally a social species it is core to the construction of our psychology. Your dissent isnt lonefulness, in which you wouldnt even be commenting here.. your impetus to involve yourself with others is your group drive. Even if, internally, this seems "rebellious" -- rebellion is a mode of group interaction.


Hm, you got me wrong there. Even though I am lonewolfing quite a lot, I know I am a social being and I like to be part of a group.

I am just turned off by most mainstream group's, which actually look to me that the main thing that is holding them together, is either force or alcohol.

But those who do likes that, I don't mind. I am just into different groups.


You're conflating being "turned off" with some mythical form of individualism.

What you mean by individualism is actually a form of group dynamic.

> is either force or alcohol.

In fact it is neither. It is the very same thing that provides you with impetus to comment here.


And I believe you don't understand what I say.

You say I am a individualistic lonewolf, because I don't like common groups that much and don't feel part of them, but rather be part of other groups to which I feel connected and therefore then also feel with that group?

How does that add up.

"> is either force or alcohol.

In fact it is neither. It is the very same thing that provides you with impetus to comment here."

And no, when I refer to a common school group for example, it is a group bound together by force - they all have to go to school and don't have much say which class etc.

And when I refer to common drunk people on mainstream festivals who are friends as long as they are drunk, then they are bound mainly by alcohol, even though it does satisfy some social needs for them.

And yes, next to intellectual curiosity, I also read and comment here because of the HN community, to which I feel connected. Did I ever said otherwise?

(oh and by the way, wolves are also very social beeings and the lone wolf hunting is a very rare thing)


But who defines what "organic" means and who verifies that food labeled "organic" actually is?

History has shown that absent any regulation and enforcement, if buyers want "organic" labels on their food, sellers will put "organic" labels on food regardless of what the food contains. Antibiotics and hormones? Pesticides? Those things are organic, under some definitions of the word.


Ok, I don't know about the US situation, but here in europe we have different labels. One by the EU and other ones from various private organisations like Demeter(more strict). And it cost money and you get controls, if you want that label for your product - so that works as intended.

And no antibiotics (unless sickness), no pesticides, etc.. Very clear defined. Also no genetically engineered food, even though I would not mind those.

Basically everybody can make up their label, yes, but it has only meaning and value, if I trust that organization. And I do trust both the EU as well as Demeter. If there would be a new label, I would investigate if it is worth anything.


My favorite-- even people without gluten sensitivities have been deluded into thinking it's universally bad, so they'll happily opt for anything with a gluten-free sticker on it...

...regardless of the fact that the product in question has no wheat component to it at all.


> Morality is allways individual action, as we are all individuals.

We are all individuals, but we're also very much social animals, and morality is a social matter. You're not born into the world knowing right from wrong, you learn it from others. When individuals make moral choices, they do so in a social context.


Ok, I believe we are arguing semantics here ...

But sure morality is in social context, but still I choose to act moraly or not. That was my point. And I can also choose a different morality from the mainstream.

The option to care for animals/nature for example is something quite new (or very old). And it changed, because people decided to care about it. And there are still many who have the old codex, that we as man can do whatever we want to lower lifeforms. (to which some include humans of different color/class/gender)


I view myself as libertarian but I believe in something called ethical capitalism which basically means the buyer/sellers in a free market all agree willingly to not engage in unethical behaviors. The idea is that buyers would refuse to buy from unethical businesses which forces them out of the market and likewise sellers would be inclined to be ethical to attract business. It ends up being a self-reinforcing cycle.


Reminds me of the John Adams quote, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

A lot of nice things are theoretically possible when everyone behaves. Too bad the real world doesn't work that way.


But this is a complete fantasy, right? It's completely at odds with actual capitalism. The cycles your proposing would happen would be broken the moment an unethical company is able to appear as an ethical one, which is not exactly hard.


I've never seen a libertarian answer to how that philosophy would solve global climate change so I very much doubt it.


I think that you can call yourself a libertarian and still be in favor of the state compensating for negative externalities.


> solve global climate change

Does anyone have an answer to this question?

> libertarian answer

Property rights in the land, air, and water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-market_environmentalism


Assigning economic value to every natural resource is not only stupid, but immoral.


Well, I don't see much solutions to climate change happening now.

Libertarian approach would be simply adopt to the new situation, as I realistically see many people just don't care or believe.

So I would (and do) still try to act as ethical as possible and go all for green technologies, but I doubt it can be forced up on people and do much good in the end, if people are not convinced of it.


You're right that most people don't care about climate change. They may say they do, but look at behaviors. Ford is having trouble making enough $100K Lincoln Navigator SUVs, so high is the demand for them.


One answer I've heard is that libertarian policies promote fast economic development. Well-off nations and people don't want to be around pollution and can afford and demand cleaner tech.

Forcing developing nations to adopt the policies of the wealthy creates an understandable tension and incentive for cheating the regs.


Maybe because it's a ridiculously vague and abstruse question that presupposes a set of ideas that libertarianism, or any political philosophy for that matter, never set out to directly answer?

Libertarianism is simply a political framework which we can use to see and interpret the world. It can be combined with other frameworks to help us reach even deeper levels of understand (or perhaps not).

The right-libertarian could argue that the best solution is a competitive marketplace that will fuel hyper-economic growth, and accelerate the rate at which we develop technologies that allow us to ween off of fossil fuels.

A left-libertarian, maybe someone with a strong civil libertarian persuasion, could argue that the non-aggression principle is being violated by the emissions of greenhouse gasses. They would then establish an "emissions rights" framework, and perhaps a marketplace to address the issue.


> could argue that the best solution is a competitive marketplace that will fuel hyper-economic growth, and accelerate the rate at which we develop technologies that allow us to ween off of fossil fuels

Or ween of dependence on climate. All these green arguments start from a false premise that human interference is the only threat to the stability of our ecosystem, ignoring extinction events and natural catastrophes that we know can be as impactful as global warming (and more). Instead of being conservative and hoping for the best if we stop burning stuff we should be discussing how to deal with a more volatile climate in general.


It's not a popular opinion to share online due to how ingrained food choices are into our lives (memories, communion, celebratory meals, etc), but if this development concerns you I highly recommend exploring a plant-based diet. I've been meat/dairy free for about a year now and it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made.


> It's not a popular opinion to share online

It is actually one of the most popular lifestyle opinions people share online and in real life, aside from proselytizing things generally recognized as religions, and has been for probably a couple of decades.


Yeahhhh not on HN. People here are very hyped by lab meat and reversing climate change thanks to science and technology, so any change of diet is not necessary. Especially since so many people here are convinced by keto diets, whic relies heavily on animal protein.


I've been leaning heavier on a plant based diet and generally eating lower on the food chain. For me the main advantages are environmental and ethical, both of which should be had with lab meat.


I am a vegetarian, just wanted to share my impressions about HN's reaction to plant based diet suggestions :)


I too am on a whole plant based diet for over a year. I feel like I am 20 again.


ABX-resistant superbugs really has nothing to do with diet.

(Meant to reply to this a couple of days ago, but Yarn on my tablet seems unable.)


Keep in mind that vega/plant based diets are purely political diets. I mean if you want to do them, that's fine, but there's not a huge health aspect.

A lot of studies are showing the largest factor in heart disease and obesity is not fat, but carbohydrates (specifically starches and sugars, not dietary fiber or sugar alcohols).

A lot of people today still think Adkins died of heart disease because of a (later rededicated) Reuters article with bad information (he was old, slipped on a piece of ice and bused his skull). I wonder had the Adkins diet movement not died off, if we'd see a significant reduction in obesity today.

It might be difficult to eat vegan, but it's much more difficult to eat low carb. Look carefully at everything in your pantry.


> Keep in mind that vega/plant based diets are purely political diets. I mean if you want to do them, that's fine, but there's not a huge health aspect.

It's pretty clear you have a bias/agenda considering how easily refutable that statement is [1][2][3][4][5]

1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/plant-based...

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565018/

3. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PII0140-673...

4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/halt-heart-disea...

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315380/


There is an extensive disinformation campaign going on, largely funded by meat and dairy companies, to confuse people about this. Refined carbohydrates and sugars are not healthy, it’s true. But the idea that saturated fat is safe is not supported by any solid science.

Summarized here: https://www.libertariannews.org/2016/03/07/dr-peter-attia-re...

https://nutritionfacts.org/2015/05/19/low-carb-diets-and-cor...


Since the title of your first source is "Hack, Liar and All Round Disgusting Individual", I'm not inclined to trust it or investigate further.


What else can you call somebody peddling pseudoscience that's horrifically damaging to individuals, animals, and the planet?


You don't call them anything. You address their arguments and methodology. All the axe grinding in that article makes it read like a tabloid, and I don't trust tabloids.



> Keep in mind that vega/plant based diets are purely political diets.

Huh? What about environmental impact and ethical concerns?

What source do you use for your beliefs on what causes heart disease? What you are saying contradicts the CDC.

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/behavior.htm

Harvard indicates that low carb high fat has protective effects, but not if you get the fat from meat.

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/l...


There's a lot of information out there, but you can start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fat_and_cardiovascul...


> I wonder had the Adkins diet movement not died off, if we'd see a significant reduction in obesity today.

Atkins was mostly displaced by other low-carb diet fads, so probably not.

> It might be difficult to eat vegan, but it's much more difficult to eat low carb.

Expensive, because cheap stables tend to be carb-heavy, but not actually all that difficult.


How big of an influence towards not eating cheap chicken anymore should the overuse of antibiotics be in your ethical framework? Relating to "buying fair-trade coffee for the plantation worker's sake", "not driving (combustion) cars because of environmental impact", etc. I find it hard to estimate.

For me, the antibiotics situation had only sub-conscious influence; the concrete, formulated reasoning was more like this: Before becoming completely vegetarian, I started preferring big animals like beef and pork over chicken because their amount of meat per animal killed is higher. Then I stopped eating beef because of its climate implications. Finally someone told me pigs are actually quite intelligent so even though it's just few animals per kg of meat, their ethical weight weighed more heavy again. Luckily at this point it was not a big step anymore and pretty easy to stop eating meat altogether.


By completely vegetarian do you mean vegan? Because if you've come this far but still consume dairy or eggs, you might consider how the milked cow or egg laying chicken still lives a horrible life and eventually is slaughtered, too.

Edit: I'm vegan, for some of the above reasons, but also for other reasons.


Factory farming was literally non-existent in India about 15-20 years ago. And when it started it was advertised and promoted as a "cleaner" alternative to buying from traditional sources.

When morality and responsibility is moved away from the individual, the unscrupulous rise up to dominate the market.

Europe isn't as rosy either as it is often painted. The supermarkets (near duopoly), would sell anything at any price as long as they can get away with it.


This is why I was so impressed with the roadside sellers of live chickens I saw in Pune.

In a place where the climate is unfavorable to the freshness of meat, and (just like in the USA) the big producers have strong incentives to sell you crap, how do you know the animal you're going to eat is healthy? Observe it alive!

Probably not a foolproof method, but better than you're getting at Whole Foods.


>This is why I was so impressed with the roadside sellers of live chickens I saw in Pune.

IIRC the general advice when buying meat in less-developed countries, especially if you look touristy, is to make sure you see it killed in front of you.


Alive != healthy, sanitary, or suitable for consumption.


Yes, but GP never claimed they're equal - instead the claim is that seeing the animal alive and talking to its seller to get more info is a better proxy to judge those things you listed (healthy, sanitary) than Whole Foods' endorsement is, the reliability of which over time depends strongly on their financial status, management ethics and a number of other variables outside your control. The Whole Foods approach is definitely more convenient for the buyer, at the cost of assurance.

Also, it's going to be a lot more difficult for a street-side vendor to cheat you compared to a behemoth like Whole Foods with deep pockets, the latest and greatest preservatives etc at its disposal to make meat look healthy, and a large, existing customer base that implicitly trusts its products.


Is it really better than WholeFoods though?


I'm not sure but my intuition says yes: ideally it should work like a farmer's market, where the individual seller is strongly invested in not cheating you. So you have that, plus whatever level of knowledge you have about chickens (probably pretty extensive if you buy them live all the time). And the freshness, specifically, is guaranteed.

With Whole Foods you have whatever trust you want to put in Amazon not over-squeezing the margins on the chicken-supply chain, plus the warm fuzzy "I can afford Whole Foods" feeling.

In aggregate I think food regulations work pretty well in the US but I think the people I saw buying those chickens were making more informed choices than I would even at a Whole Foods or equivalent "Big Organic" outfit.


There are 2 questions that are missing in the article.

- Who is producing and selling this antibiotics, in a scale of hundreds of tons?

- Is it produced in India or another country?


Is it crazy to think that other nations may feel threatened by the potential epidemics of antibiotic resistant bacteria? If so, could they (1) stablish sanctions (2) invade or in worst case (3) nuke, a country that is actively provoking a worldwide crisis?


Yes, nuking a country for putting antibiotics in chicken feed is crazy.


I'm sure it's produced there, they manufacture a lot of drugs. If I remember right, a lot of generics sold in the west are produced in bulk in India, with a western company packaging & doing the paperwork.


It is saying "are shipped to India each year" so that means it is coming from abroad, right?


Sorry, reading fail! But the linked report is indeed vague:

"Colistin is manufactured by two companies in India but the country is also importing at least 150 tonnes of the drug each year."

They appear to have found some customs documents, that's all. Googling, some article says "China was estimated to be using 8000 tonnes of colistin per year of the global production of 12 000 tonnes" a few years ago. So it would not be surprising if this import were only 10 percent.

Also: TFA says "There are currently no regulations that would prevent such export to the UK on hygiene terms, except for those agreed under the EU. Any regulations to be negotiated after Brexit might not"

while the article linked says "the UK uses less than a tonne a year of colistin in agriculture."

So it's not banned now, it seems!


There's a bit of a Trolley Problem here. 194,000,000 Indians experienced starvation and malnutrition in 2014-2015. If antibiotics greatly speeds animal growth, aids reproductive success, and increases muscle mass perhaps it's a necessary temporary risk in order to increase the food supply and drive down food prices.

Antibiotic resistant diseases claimed around 700,000 lives in 2014 according to the CDC. Animal feed is unproven to be contributing factor, and only a partial one if so.


By the utilitarian argument, wouldn't the answer just be to stop eating meat and eat whatever we're feeding to livestock (or some other food grown in its place)? Meat is a pretty inefficient source of food compared to large scale agriculture.


True, and it helps that India has a large religiously vegetarian population. But that's not everyone. Government policy can only do so much - it can enforce a ban on large farms using antibiotics with some effort and resources, but it's nearly impossible to prevent people from eating meat entirely. Total prohibition of consumer goods doesn't have a good track record.


So what is the trolley problem? People who are starving don't buy meat.


If there is a supply glut of a staple food, the prices of food in general, even not of that type tends to driven downward - because to some extent foods are interchangeable. Similar to how an overabundance of residential skyscrapers has a downward effect on the price of less attractive homes. There's a lot of history on food shortages and prices that can be found with a cursory level of searching. Each person can only eat so much in a day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand


Thanks for linking me to an article about Supply and Demand. I hadn't thought about that. You are still wrong.

The problem is that factory farmed animals usually eat grain which could be used to feed humans. Even if only 10% of their feed is suitable for human consumption, it's still a net loss of food, because meat is an extremely inefficient source of calories.


We must do whatever it takes to maximize human populations. Whatever it takes.


More like we must help our starving fellow citizens.

Note: It's easy to counter ridiculous arguments, and derail an entire conversation in the process.


The message you replied to may be facetious, but it makes a fair point. There is too much emphasis on alleviating the suffering of people who probably shouldn't exist in the first place.

In the 90s in Ethiopia there was a famine caused by drought, lack of development and especially over-population. Affluent countries gave tonnes of food aid and reduced the size of the catastrophe.

Soon afterwards, the population of Ethiopia exploded. As a collective they had learnt nothing about the danger of over-population.

In India, there's also a lack of social awareness about the impact humans have on the environment - but the issue isn't famine. Rather, the huge population is bolstered by developments such as modern farming techniques that produce food of dubious quality.

Generally, humans (in the third world in particular) are like most species in that their populations increase to the limit of what development and the environment supports. Sudden environmental changes and rapid, careless development bring suffering to many of the extra millions that exist.

And when suffering occurs, never does anyone of influence say that perhaps humans should stop breeding like rabbits and that perhaps a catastrophe is nature's way of telling us that.

Instead, with every catastrophe we hear pontificating about how terrible it is, and often foreign entities will rush to give aid and thereby reinforce the irresponsible collective behaviour of the societies that are suffering.

Does that sound heartless? It's not quite so heartless as how suffering individuals are treated by their own societies. When a society is mal-developed and contains hundreds of millions, the suffering of an individual is negligible to the whole. In these circumstances it is likely that only mass suffering will cause reflection and change.

Suffering societies need to learn from tragedies and take collective responsibility by reducing their population numbers and valuing the lives of their members.


> Suffering societies need to learn from tragedies and take collective responsibility by reducing their population numbers

The good news is that the birth rate has been falling down for the last 30 years in India.


Prevent starvation in this country now, or prevent uncontrollable infectious global pandemics in the future.


Most Indians are vegetarian, so it likely wouldn't help as much as you think


When I shop, I want oragnic meat. But it remains a myth to me whether one brand is “more organic” than others. Can I trust the simple “organic approved” stamp? What’s in theirs anyway? What about the organic soil in my backyard I use to grow my delicious tomatoes? Free range chicken are completely organic? Not necessary, a misconception. What exactly is “organic”?

Antibacterial resistance is becoming more evident. Beside regulate the use of antibotics (and pesticide) in food source, we should not overlook the overuse of antibotics in medical treatments [1][2][3].

Patients often do not understand what antibotics are for, and they would ask their doctors to prescribe antibotics even when antibotics are absolutely unnecessary. Some doctors will give in because the prescription would avoid confrontation with the patient and therefore will give the patient an illusion he/she is receiving the full treatment.

Antibacterial resistance affects now and our future generations. Look up “antibotic resistance” in Google News and you will find hundreds of news articles over the years.

[1]: https://www.cdc.gov/features/antibioticuse/index.html

[2]: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170509121924.h...

[3]: http://www.utswmedicine.org/stories/articles/year-2017/antib...


Simplest (not easiest) personal solution is to not eat meat (or any animal products)


Pesticides overuse is also very common and that is the same class of problems, though it doesn't threaten whole humanity like antibiotics do.


So what? I shouldn't eat anything? I mean yeah, I could try that. But what is your point, that nothing should be done because it's useless to do anything?


The GP is simply suggesting that you're selective and biased in the issues you're trying to solve. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing: you have to choose your battles.

But someone else could propose only eating meat to solve the massive use of pesticide. Apart from the possible health issues, he would be as right in his position as you are.


I appreciate your point and I learned something new from it, but I disagree with the last part. By your GP's own admission, pesticide overuse doesn't threaten all of humanity like antibiotic overuse does. So no, they are not "as right as" someone trying to avoid contributing to the antibiotic overuse problem. Not all problems are equally important.


Bioaccumulation of pesticides in animal tissue is a serious problem.

I do not think you can ever consume the same amount of pesticides by eating plants if before that you ate nontrivial amounts of chicken, chicken eggs, beef, milk etc. Cow eats several tons of plants in its lifetime. I'm pretty sure human comes no where close. The bioaccumulation happening there is a serious issue.

That stuff is filled with bioaccumulated pesticides.


He would be wrong because animals grown for meat also eat vast quantities of of plants, which are of course grown with pesticides. So eating a plant based diet reduces the amount of antibiotics AND pesticides used globally.


Animals grown for meat eat massive amounts of plants grown with pesticides, which also builds up in their tissues, so carnism is a big contributor to this problem as well.


Considering how damaging it is on soils fauna, I wouldn't be so sure.


Neither will help you if you for example pick up a resistant strain while for example in hospital.


Yeah, but that's not the point.


What is the point? Is it that not eating meat will significantly reduce likelihood of catching an antibiotic resistant bug? Like I implied I doubt this is true. Or is it that the problem would be greatly reduced if everyone stopped eating meat. I expect this is true but it is not going to happen.


> Or is it that the problem would be greatly reduced if everyone stopped eating meat. I expect this is true but it is not going to happen.

This is a classic Tragedy of the Commons. No single individual is incentivized to sacrifice for the good of the group as a whole.

But it's not correct to say that "it's not going to happen" - there are many counter-examples. The most notable is the ozone layer depletion problem that has been largely mitigated over the last 3 decades through concerted action among govts, NGOs and with public education. From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion:

"The Montreal Protocol is considered the most successful international environmental agreement to date. ... The ozone hole was seen as a "hot issue" and imminent risk as lay people feared severe personal consequences such as skin cancer, cataracts, damage to plants, and reduction of plankton populations. ... Americans voluntarily switched away from aerosol sprays, resulting in a 50 percent sales loss even before legislation was enforced."

So yes, at some future point, if govts/NGOs do their part and the average human comes to believe they face imminent personal danger (which we already do but it's hidden), meat production may well become heavily regulated and large numbers of people may switch to vegetarianism.


> I expect this is true but it is not going to happen.

What is your point. That we shouldn't do anything, because it is all hopeless?


Bugs and plants can also absorb antibotic substances.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vegetables-contai...


So what? I shouldn't eat anything? I mean yeah, I could try that. But what is your point, that nothing should be done because it's useless to do anything?


You made the comment that a solution is to not eat meat product. Then if vegetables are tainted, then how is not eating meat a solution? The correct solution would be stop misusing antibotics.


> Can I trust the simple “organic approved” stamp?

I was watching some Canadian CBC Marketplace videos where they show that some sellers just buy factory produced food and then label it as organic/farmer produced.


Who are the pharmaceutical companies selling to for this to happen??


This article has some more info: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-game-of-chicken-how-...

One paragraph: "One of these companies, Venky’s, is also a major poultry producer. Apart from selling animal medicines and creating its own chicken meals, it supplies meat directly and indirectly to fast food chains in India such as KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Domino’s."


Is the colistin even being manufactured by pharmas? Or is there just some chemical plant pumping it out?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colistin


Gosh, I hate how organised, and lethal Venky's and similar companies are. They need to be checked in news, ALL the time. (Just shared this on all my social media. I hope the news spreads far and wide.)



Is this one of the causes as to why humans are developing resistance to antibiotics?


So, birds that can't fly very far, are very high. Interesting.


Next time I feel sick, I will eat non organic chicken to get some antibiotics.




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