Livestock in China Given Too Many Antibiotics24 January, 2012 at 08:41 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Environmental issues, Food, sustainable development | 2 Comments
Tags: Body & Mind, China, environmental issues, Food, health, sustainable development
The abuse of antibiotics is rampant in China’s animal husbandry industry, with nearly half of the 210,000 tons of antibiotics produced in China annually being deployed on animals, according to recent reports.
Southern Daily reported on Dec. 21 that chickens, ducks, eggs, fish and meat in China are all contaminated due to widespread use of antibiotics. The paper reported that residual antibiotics in the food are also impacting humans.
The push to use antibiotics was driven by the development of high-density livestock farming in China in recent years, which led to diseases. Adding more drugs to the forage eaten by the animals became the common way of addressing the disease problems, and was especially notable in the aquaculture industry.
With regular dose increases, bacteria become resistant to drugs. Within a decade veterinary antibiotics have been upgraded from the basic penicillin, chloramphenicol, and terramycin to more powerful categories of enrofloxacin, florfenicol, sulfonamide family, cephalosporins, and quinolones.
Experts quoted in the Southern Daily report warned that consumption of food containing antibiotics would result in allergies in minor cases or toxicity in serious cases.
Critically, “super-bacteria” resistant to drugs may be produced by the long term abuse of antibiotics, which poses a greater risk. Doctors have already encountered bacteria-infections that are incurable, the report said.
Read the original Chinese article.