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View Diary: Microbiome research vaults science and politics in reach of Lao Tzu (56 comments)

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  •  RE: livestock and antibiotics -- (5+ / 0-)

    -- your point is one that the New Yorker article from which I quoted extensively in this diary addresses directly:

    Roughly three-quarters of the antibiotics consumed in the United States are fed to poultry, cows, and pigs, not to treat illness but as dietary supplements to promote faster growth. That saves the meat industry a lot of money; the sooner the animals reach a market weight, the sonner they can be slaughtered and sold. Until recently, the biochemical reasons for that weight gain, and its unsettling implications for humans, were murky. The new data suggest that even minimal exposure to antibiotics alters the gut bacteria of these animals, which may influence their ability to metabolize nutrients properly. As a result, researchers have concluded, both their body-fat percentage and their weight increase significantly.

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