Organic Consumers Association

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CAFOs and Superbugs

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our CAFO's vs. Free Range page.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health, worldwide, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics.

Antibiotic overuse occurs not just in medicine, but also in food production. In fact, agricultural usage accounts for about 80 percent of all antibiotic use in the US,2 so it's a MAJOR source of human antibiotic consumption.

According to a 2009 report3 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on this subject, factory farms used a whopping 29 million pounds of antibiotics that year alone.

Animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention and growth promotion, and those antibiotics are transferred to you via meat, and even through the animal manure that is used as crop fertilizer.

Antibiotics are also used to compensate for the crowded, unsanitary living conditions associated with large-scale confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).    

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