09 April 2006

Resistant bacteria and antibiotic chicken feed

If you have a spare moment, please sign this virtual petition started by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The purpose of the petition is to convince Pilgrim's Pride to join other poultry producers in reducing their use of antibacterial chicken feed.

Many chicken farms routinely put antibiotics into chicken feed, whether or not the chickens are sick, as a preventative measure. The problem is that using the antibiotics kills most of the target bacteria in the chicken, but some hardy ones survive. These are the ones that then reproduce, creating antibiotic resistant strains ("superbugs"). This is the same process that creates superbugs in hospitals, such as MRSA. Which I am a lucky host of, as part of my skin disease hidradenitis suppurativa (though the auto-immune component appears to be more important).

So yeah, sign the petition.


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