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Government Science

FDA Backtracks On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Proposal 172

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The FDA recognized, 35 years ago, that feeding animals low-doses of certain antibiotics used in human medicine — namely, penicillin and tetracyclines — could promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people who eat meat, and proposed to withdraw approval for the use of those antibiotics in animal feed. Instead of acting upon the proposal, the FDA has now withdrawn it. Although admitting that it continues to have 'concerns' about the safety of the use of antibiotics in animal feed, the FDA says that it will just continue to rely on 'voluntary self-policing' by the industry, the same method which hasn't worked out too well during the past 35 years, as antibiotic use in livestock and antibiotic resistance have continued to rise throughout the entire period."
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FDA Backtracks On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Proposal

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  • Greed (Score:3, Informative)

    by GoooF ( 135436 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @09:40AM (#38524926)

    Yet another consequence to greed. View the documentary 'Food Inc.', they show how the food industry have become afraid of the public opinion by creating laws against criticizing food producers and totally dedicated to generate more profit by lowering quality standards and so on..

  • Re:As a vegtarian: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @09:50AM (#38524992) Journal

    Meat gets antibiotics. Vegetables get synthetic fertilizer. No food source can feed the planet without modern agriculture techniques.

  • by wesborgmandvm ( 893569 ) <wesborgman@gmai l . c om> on Thursday December 29, 2011 @09:57AM (#38525090) Homepage
    As a veterinarian this is finality a topic on Slashdot I am qualified to talk about. However, rather than get into the details I am going to punt this one :)

    Here is a four-part series on the struggle over the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry, the threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and the veterinary profession’s role in safeguarding animal and public health. []
  • Re:Follow the Money (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @10:49AM (#38525724) Homepage Journal

    ...and won't as long as the Republicans have at least 40 votes in the Senate.

  • Re:Follow the Money (Score:4, Informative)

    by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Thursday December 29, 2011 @11:28AM (#38526200) Homepage

    The FDA is part of the _executive_ branch, you know, that branch run by a president who talks like a liberal and acts like GWB.

  • Re:Greed (Score:5, Informative)

    by crmarvin42 ( 652893 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @02:14PM (#38528558)
    You are only slightly wrong and this is why:

    Animals (including humans) have a requirement for amino acids, and for simplicity/convenience this is usually described as a need for protein (a product consisting almost entirely of amino acids). The relative ratio of the nutritionaly essential amino acids is important, becuase if one (or more than one) amino acid is deficient in the overall diet then the utilization of the other amino acids will be necessarily limited. This scenario usually leads to increased conversion of the amino acids that cannot be utilized for protein synthesis into lipid for storage, making the animal fatter. This fattening effect also can happen when all amino acids are present in the correct ratios, but there is too much protein consumed relative to requirement.

    The key point that makes your statement wrong is that the relative ratios of amino acids in animal derived protein (including hamburger and "Meat scraps") is far closer to ideal than that in grains, including beans. Plants, including beans such as soy or lentils, are notoriously low in Lysine relative to the other amino acids. As an animal nutritionist I almost never formulate a livestock ration for a growing animal that is devoid of a concentrated Lysine supplement (usually Lysine Hydrochloride). That's not to say that you cannot satisfy a persons nutritional requirement for all essential amino acids without using meat, you most definitely can. However, it is more difficult and more expensive because you need to procure a wider variety of foods. There is also the issue of availability of nutrients, with meat derived protein being almost completely available for absorption and plant derived protein being less digestible. But of course cooking and other processing can make plant derived protein much more available.

    While one source is not categorically "Better" than the other, meat is a more EFFICIENT source of amino acids. The ratios are closer to ideal, they are more available for absorption, and require less dietary variety. These qualities are not as important for most people in western society because we spend a small fraction of our total income on procuring food, and so the vegetarian/vegan diet becomes more practical as your economic status increases. In parts of the world where economics/climate/culture/etc. FORCE a primarily vegetarian diet on people, they are usually much shorter than westerners of similar ethnic background because of their poorer/less consistent access to all of the essential amino acids required for meeting their potential for maximum growth during adolescence.
  • by osvenskan ( 1446645 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @04:01PM (#38529988)

    There is so much in your post that's incorrect that it's hard to know where to start making corrections. I'll just choose a few items.

    As to the idea that a vegan eschewing supplements would "[die] from the most basic of food diseases, scurvy, after 2-3 months" -- scurvy a deficiency of vitamin C which is abundant in certain fruits and vegetables. Someone eating a plant-based diet would be pretty much the last person to get scurvy.

    ...plants do not contain all 9 of the essential amino acids

    That's false. Quoth Wikipedia, "Nearly all foods contain all twenty amino acids in some quantity." Plant foods often don't supply a lot of the essential amino acids (esp. lysine) but they provide some. Citing Wikipedia again, "...amaranth,...buckwheat, hempseed, meat, poultry, Salvia hispanica, soybeans, quinoa, seafood, and spirulina also are complete protein foods". []

    In fact, tempeh (soybeans + mushroom) does pretty well at supplying essential amino acids [].

    There is one substance that contains all required nutrients for a human being : meat (raw meat).

    This dramatically oversimplifies human nutritional requirements. You get to work on that 100% raw meat diet and let us know how that works for you.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.