I have a lot of veterinarian friends, and the fact of the matter is farmers purchase antibiotics like any other supplies. Farmers get to skirt the process most other animal owners go through, and in most states and jurisdictions don't need to go through a licensed veterinarian to obtain antibiotics.
Most veterinarians I know think it's ridiculous, and causes more harm than good. But farmers have lobbied for these freedoms. Many veterinarian friends complain that many farmers are entitled, and feel that they should be able to do whatever they want with their herd.
If you ask me, Farming is one profession that needs to have stronger regulations that are actually enforced e.g. antibiotics, humane treatment, etc.
It's a grey area for sure -- do I let my sick animals suffer so I can sell them? Or do I give them medicine that makes them ineligible for certain consumption categories.
This isn't what the antibiotics are for. They increase growth. We don't know why.
It is also a giant source of antibiotic resistance, which is why it should be illegal, much less the disruption of your gut microbiota from consuming antibiotics.
I think it’s more along the lines of this:
1. Cows evolved to eat low starch and high fiber grass;
2. We feed them corn and grain based diets that speed up growth but result in certain illnesses (rumen a layer of slime which traps gas they normally release and liver failure both which can lead to death);
3. Antibiotics are mixed in with corn and grain based feeds which help with both those issues (gas/bloating and liver failure).
I have never seen a study showing antibiotics lead to accelerated growth where a cow doesn’t also eat a corn/grain based feed.
More detail explanation here (not a study): https://www.google.com/amp/s/paleopersonaltrainer.wordpress....
Chicken are fed antibiotics because it stimulates some growth hormone.
People don't, it's obvious.
Please refer to the history of the Tobacco industry in the United States to see how this strategy works. The same technique is being used with climate change by the fossil fuel industries.
For enforcable regulations to become enacted, suddenly the burden of the most rigorous scientific proof with zero possible doubt becomes mandatory. It's absurd.
First, penicillin does bind to enzymes that cross link cell wall. It's getting from there to dead cells that's the problem. First, if you knock out a set of proteins called autolysins, cultures exposed to penicillin plateau in population, but the population does not decrease. That is, there is a suicide response. Second, changing the external turgor pressure, such as by adding PEG to the medium, doesn't change the rate of death. Third, if you watch a culture under a microscope when you add penicillin, all the cells in the culture stop growing long before they die. So the unbalanced growth model can't work. I have a vague memory that the kinetics don't work out either, but it's been too many years.
More interestingly, other antibiotics, such as rifampicin and chloramphenicol, which don't target anything related to cell wall, cause bacteria to stop growing when they are added to the medium. That implies that there are active mechanisms involved, not some random fact about cell wall synthesis that happens to stop when something is inhibited. Rifampicin is supposed to inhibit protein production (and does mess up ribosome activity), but there was an interesting paper that showed that a few mRNAs were translated as normal in the presence of rifampicin, even though most were messed up. And how would inhibiting protein synthesis lead to cells exploding (which they do) by a direct, physical mechanism?
I've thought about going back and writing a review article on all this stuff, but biology is a long ways in my past at this point.
Do you have a source for this? Sounds very interesting if true
"That’s because decades of agricultural research has shown that antibiotics seem to flip a switch in young animals’ bodies, helping them pack on pounds. Manufacturers brag about the miraculous effects of feeding antibiotics to chicks and nursing calves."
The above raises the question, do antibotics increase the BMI of human children long-term ? According to this article the answer is yes.
Erm, isn't the point that they use antibiotics en masse to prevent illness?
I don't think anybody ever complained about treating (serious) diseases with antibiotics, but the preventive use big scale.
This is just madness, among other things in the meat industry. .
I would guess that with antibiotics, meat production can be like 20% more efficient, maybe somewhat more.
But at great cost. The farmer makes more short-term profit, while offloading the externality of dealing with the consequences (breeding antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria) to the future or just someone else entirely. Are these costs really worth it for you to get cheap cuts of meat at the grocery store, or to ensure that the farmer makes more money (or remains profitable at all)?
 Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria make cattle farming impossible.
 Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria enter the general human population generating a significant health crisis.
 If the livestock industry can't stay afloat without these low-dose antibiotics, then maybe they should either charge more (meat becomes a luxury item), or they should just end livestock farming altogether. The production of meat isn't as essential to the functioning of society as people think. It's definitely not worth the risk of creating a health crisis just because "the meat must flow."
The European Union banned antibiotic growth promoters 12 years ago . However, in my experience, grocery shopping for meat in the US east coast is, if anything, more expensive than meat in Europe.
From the wikipedia link above: "However, any antibiotics deemed medically important to humans by the CDC are illegal to use as growth promoters in the U.S. Only drugs that have no association with human medicine – and therefore no risk to humans – are allowed to be used for this purpose."
(I am no expert, so I don't know whats the bottom of this.)
Antibiotic resistance is becoming a huge problem recently. It sounds like farmers are slowly trading in the most effective life saving medicine we have ever discovered for a boost in margins.
This is not just in cattle, by the way. It's also in humans. Antibiotic over-prescription has been linked to obesity and fatty liver disease. See, for example: https://www.nature.com/articles/pr2014157
Another great way to prevent illness would be to actually provide suitable conditions for the animals to live. Their current conditions are abhorrent.
I agree with the other commenters about the use of antibiotics to raise larger animals as opposed to healthier ones.
This is what they’re mostly used for, sadly.
Of course I don't really have the context to evaluate it.
There are lots of "Natural" beef / poultry / pork which are Anti-Biotics free ( Or claiming they are when they are not ) that are selling at a premium. Being pushed especially by the big companies, Cargill / Tyson ( IBP ) and National Beef.
I do agree it is a tough call though. Beef Industry has a huge lead time compare to Pork and Poultry. Making it not as easy / clear cut.
We eat those antibiotics.
We eat grain and get fat.
The fact that you just used the "science" argument to justify your meat consumption is absolutely insane to me. Modern meat consumption HAS enormous consequences, that's a science fact. Stop trying to accomodate reality to your convenience.
>reasons other than health (e.g animal rights
I don't much care for the concept of animal rights, but having inspected a handful of industrial scale farm ops I can kinda see where they're coming from. Lots of disgusting stuff & it doesn't seem isolated either.
Only thing holding me back from keto diet is amount of meat I have to eat.
For processed meat at least the current WHO consensus seems to be that no level of it is safe. It's literally classified as a carcinogenic same as smoking.
Fortunately it's now easy to buy meat at grocery stores in the US without antibiotics. Every major grocery store chain carries selections of antibiotic-free meat. Just ten years ago that wasn't the case. Typically you can read the packaging and it'll tell you that it wasn't raised with antibiotics, if that's the case (and if it doesn't say that, the odds are that it was raised with antibiotics; the antibiotic-free meat packaging tends to trumpet that as a selling point).
I have a plant and cheese based diet, eating meat once or twice every one or two weeks, and even then in small quantities. I practice cycling every day, at 40kmph average at about 50-100km per day. My staple food is oats with peanut butter, cane sugar (rapadura/panela) and cinnamon.
Last month a friend moved in with me, and has taken charge of the meals. Since then I've begun eating meat a lot more. Explosive strength is a little better, but I have noticed a considerable decline in the oxygen uptake in my muscles, to the tune of -40-50%. It also seems to be harder to get into the ketogenic burn cycle.
Admitedly, i'm also riding less than usual (30-40km/day), but this isn't the first time i've taken a break and i've never experienced muscle wasting like this before.
Ideally, the use of pesticides/herbicides would be tracked throughout the entire supply chain, so that consumers could have an accurate accounting of the use of pesticides on the food they're consuming. Sadly, the odds of this happening are nil, so we're left with the choice of buying organic and hoping the pesticides/herbicides they used aren't too bad for us. Of course, we can also buy directly from farmers, but that is not practical for most of us, and certainly not for all of our foods.
I just want to be able to choose my poison ;)
I do agree with the pesticide/herbicide use tracking and that lobbying is keeping the much needed regulations from being put in place.
OP's contention ("GMO plants with all kinds of non-long-term-tested gene modifications"), however, is just meaningless speculation.
Even cigarettes, in your analogy were created without any regulation, and continue till date. Overconsumption of calories from soda is a well known problem, but as a society we love them anyway.
Somehow when it comes to GMO, for some reason the burden of proof is so much higher. The chances that GMOs would be terribly bad for our health is much closer to sci-fi than reality, given how much leeway is provided for other consumer products we regularly use, apply, and consume in our lives.
We really should.
Glyphosate (you spelled it wrong) is widely used in non-GMO agriculture as well. Avoiding GMO doesn't do much in avoiding glyphosate. Glyphosate is also probably the most widely studied and the most harmless of the herbicides. Replacing glyphosate with some other chemicals is not necessarily a win.
Even going organic doesn't free you from all herbicides and pesticides, some of them are allowed to be used in organic farming. And if you really go pesticide free, you start to have more insect damage in crops, which provide entry points for molds to attack the crops. And some of the toxins produced by molds are really potent.
If you want to avoid residues of harmful chemicals, going 100% pesticide free is probably not the optimum.
Uh, being able to tolerate more glyphosate was the entire reason for genetically modifying a lot of the GMOs currently in widespread use.
In other words, glyphosate is used at many times the concentration it used to be used at precisely because of the introduction of GMOs (because that was the whole point of introducing those particular GMOs).
>insect damage in crops, which provide entry points for molds to attack the crops. And some of the toxins produced by molds are really potent.
Insect damage is easy to see (at least on whole produce, not counting processed foods); glyphosate residues on the other hand is hard to detect.
Your very purpose is to "desiccate", that is to kill or harm, the plants before harvest. So you don't need to care about concentrations (expect from the point of view of regulations, how much glyphosate residue is allowed in the food products).
Using glyphosate like this is banned in some countries (Switzerland, Nordic Countries come to mind), but it is widely used in most of the world. It has nothing to do with GMOs, it is widely used to desiccate wheat, for example, and there is no GMO wheat anywhere in commercial production.
I am no expert, but I'd guess this is the main source of glyphosate residues in food.
Glyphosate is also not allowed in organic produce. Because of allegedly inappropriate involvement of pesticide manufacturers in scientific reviews, glyphosate has also only been approved for five years in the EU (2017).
> And if you really go pesticide free, you start to have more insect damage in crops
There is an organic solution to insect damage and that is predators. I know some green houses that is run here uses sterile large insects that targets crop damaging insects, after which they are just washed off the plants. 100% toxin free and naturally you could balance that to get rid of molds as well. Costly but very effective.
Here's some facts.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybean seeds are designed to be sprayed with glyphosate.
> Monsanto projects that acreage will double this year, accounting for about 44 percent of all planted acres. (1)
If you're not buying organic, it seems incredibly likely you're getting glyphosate in your soybeans, and by extension, many numerous products that the beans are processed into.
Of course, if you are buying organic, it doesn't mean your food wasn't treated with a natural chemical. As I said before, it would nice to know which ones/
Isn't the "we modified hundreds of thousands of years of evolution with cool tools with surgical gene altering power not had by farmers before", while science still doesn't have a clear picture of nutrition and human metabolism, and did so in a few decades, and with a profit motive that has been shown time and again to make companies to make hasty decisions and sacrifice quality control and even bypass safety regulations, side the one that should prove that it's safe?
I guess, someone warning merely inspired by basic precaution for the new and relatively unknown elements being passed over to consumer in the case of radioactive substances used in commercial products and sold all other the place, was also making an unsubstantiated claim. Until someone else substantiated them...
GMOs have nowhere close to catastrophic potential for human health. On the other hand, we still heavily consume excess fats and sugars on a regular basis, which are well known to cause health problems in the long run. If you are really concerned about your health, or that of other people, and would like to see this legislated, maybe we should be starting with the ones with substantiated evidence against them.
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17043629
Would they? For one, there's nothing about GMOs that says they can't also lace them with all kinds of crap.
And it's mostly profit-driven amateur magicians engineers driving them, not actual scientists interested in improving learning and testing them long term. So I'd trust their safety guarantees as much as I trust tobacco or drug companies...
We ask out doctors to try to avoid giving antibiotics if it can be avoided, but there are sole cases where animals are massively dosed with it.
Wrote a blog post a while back about my thoughts on diet if you want to give it a read: https://medium.com/@manibatra23/2016-a-reflection-diet-30c15...
See the book How Not to Die for more here: https://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Die-Discover-Scientifically/d...
The only real thing missing is B12 and of that the body needs so tiny amounts that every idiot can supplement it easily.
The only reason I found out was because I got a compression fracture of one of the T vertebrae while snowboarding (just riding, too---no crash or anything like that). My point being that I felt otherwise completely normal so somebody with a sedentary lifestyle may not notice until it gets really bad.
Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption; my calcium levels were normal. I think regular diets are more resistant to lower vitamin D levels because they contain more calcium on average.
The lower cost increases consumption; using more resources, producing more pollution. That is contributing to health issues in those who consume it. The lower peoduction coat is eaten up by medical coats.
It sounds like a terrorist plot.
The world has too many people. We had to engineer our food supply to keep up with what is needed to feed everyone.
Nah, not needed. It's only because people eat so much meat.
1. No there aren't too many people; people just need to change their lifestyles.
2. Yes, there are too many people, because with far fewer people, we could have all the things we like (like lots of meat, cell phones, automobiles), and the overall impact will be small.
Given how hard it is to change lifestyles, maybe #2 is the more practical alternative.
Yes, current models predict global population capping, but it will stabilize higher than it currently is.
There are two actions that modify the population count. Birth and Death. We can decrease our birth rate while increasing freedom by offering better reproductive healthcare to those without access, but I don't think it will decrease the birth rate enough to make it lower than the death rate.
To reduce the current population to a level with "far fewer" it would involve involuntarily death increasing (war, murder, fatal accidents, illness), or involuntary decrease in birthrate (China's one-child-per-family policy, forced sterilization). Both of those seem horrific to me, especially if the motivation is to give more luxury resources to the living.
Involuntary interventions are morally questionable, and often don't work in the long run. However, Europe, Japan, and the US (absent migration) have been voluntarily reducing their populations for years now, though the consequences of that shift present economic challenges.
No, I do not think that the projected human population can all drive cars, have big homes, have computers and cell phones, regularly fly around the world, and eat lots of meat without irreversible ecological collapse. However, for the most part all those things are good things absent their externalities, and the externalities really are only bad because of the scale.
I think we are better armed to handle epidemic infectious disease than we ever have been, and a Black Plague level of population decrease is unlikely for a few reasons.
1. The disease model is very useful for identifying root causes of infection. Knowledge is a very powerful tool in prevention.
2. We have experience fighting infectious disease that do not respond to anti-biotics. They are a very powerful tool, but not our only tool.
3. State level actors, such as the United States CDC, have broad authority in the case of epidemics. Antibiotic resistant bacteria is a scenario they have war gamed many times, and a situation they monitor closely.
Perhaps he figures that "causes obesity" would get more people concerned that about the risks of resistant infections.