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View Diary: Congress and the Obama administration have exacerbated the problems in our food system (81 comments)

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  •  sick animals don't gain weight (0+ / 0-)

    nor do animals with parasites but most anti-parasite meds are mild forms of poison which can put an animal off feed and susceptible to diseases.
    Also, feed contains high salt content so animals gain weight more quickly as they consume much more water.  This is why so much weight is lost if animals have to be held overnight on truck to wait at processing plant for induction    

    •  But that's not why animals are given (1+ / 0-)
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      The antibiotics alter the repertoire of gut biota (conveniently enough) to favor bacterial species that promote rapid growth of the host.

      Interestingly, there is speculation that "residual" antibiotics obtained by people from meats are having the same effect and contributing to the current obesity epidemic.

      •  also note the human habit of demanding (0+ / 0-)

        antibiotics, even when not indicated, such as for viral flu or for ear infections when ear tubes are more efficacious.  Too many docs give in to pts' demands

        •  That's most likely a much bigger reason (0+ / 0-)

          for antibiotic resistant (to everything!) strains than agricultural use (heck, how many cows or chickens are given IV drips of the last line antibiotics used in hospitals?).

          Even though there's no comprehensive information available, it's almost certain the vast amounts of antibiotics used agriculturally are the less expensive types that lost clinical effectiveness a while ago.

          Nonetheless, modern medical science is rethinking antibiotics use in the context that these compounds have long lasting and deleterious effects of "good" gut bacteria, leading to all types of health problems perhaps even things like autism and Parkinsons.   So getting antibiotics unbeknownst from meat could be a real problem for human health.  Much, much, much worse than if somebody made a genetically modified fish, for example, that just grew fast for other reasons.

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