Thursday, December 3, 2015

Excessive Use of Farm Antibiotics

World Health Organization ("WHO") operated by the United Nations, has surveyed 12 countries about the opinions of the general population on farm use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.

As a Small Flocker, I rarely use antibiotics to treat any of my animals, mainly because they aren't getting sick and therefore have no need for these dangerous drugs.

Animals, like humans, have all they need to naturally thrive.  If animals (or humans) get chronically sick, this would indicate that the farming system is flawed, and must be improved so that the animals (and farmers) can naturally thrive within that farming system.

It is not sufficient reason to avoid fixing the root cause of the problem (ie. dysfunctional CAFO farming methods), by the use of powerful drugs that force the problem onto everybody else downstream, thereby creating problems which are orders of magnitude larger and more dangerous.

Witness that experts estimate that 75% of all human diseases are caused or contributed to by poor diet or nutrition.  It is today's farming that produces that food raw material. For the most part, it is multi-national huge corporations that process those farmed foods into processed foods that are distributed throughout the world at great profit for a few special interest groups.  If these systems are causing or contributing to 75% of human disease &/or death, is that not reason enough to force change of this dysfunctional system?

Agri007 has provided an excellent review of the survey findings:
"Sixty-four per cent said antibiotic resistance is an issue and 73 per cent said farmers should reduce their use of antibiotics.

“The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis, and governments now recognize it as one of the greatest challenges for public health today,” says Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“It is reaching dangerously high levels in all parts of the world,” she said. “Antibiotic resistance is compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining many advances in medicine.”

The survey asked 14 questions on the use of antibiotics, knowledge of antibiotics and of antibiotic resistance, and used a mix of online and face-to-face interviews.

It was conducted in Barbados, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan and Viet Nam.

While not claiming to be exhaustive, this and other surveys will help WHO and partners to determine the key gaps in public understanding of the problem and misconceptions about how to use antibiotics to be addressed through the campaign.

Some common misconceptions revealed by the survey include:

Three quarters (76 percent) of respondents think that antibiotic resistance happens when the body becomes resistant to antibiotics. In fact bacteria — not humans or animals — become resistant to antibiotics and their spread causes hard-to-treat infections.

Two thirds (66 percent) of respondents believe that individuals are not at risk of a drug-resistant infection if they personally take their antibiotics as prescribed. Nearly half (44 percent) of people surveyed think antibiotic resistance is only a problem for people who take antibiotics regularly. In fact, anyone, of any age, in any country can get an antibiotic-resistant infection.
More than half (57 percent) of respondents feel there is not much they can do to stop antibiotic resistance, while nearly two thirds (64 percent) believe medical experts will solve the problem before it becomes too serious."
Based on these survey results, it is clear that the WHO and governments have some urgent priorities.

Mother Jones suggests that antibiotic resistance and Superbugs kill 700,000 people per year globally, on pace to expand to 10 million deaths per year by 2050.

Don't look to Big Pharma to come to the rescue.  WHO reminded us in 2011 that:
 "Antibiotics…have a poor return on investment because they are taken for a short period of time and cure their target disease.  In contrast, drugs that treat chronic illness, such as high blood pressure, are taken daily for the rest of a patient’s life."
As usual, Big Pharma cares more about their precious profits, not the lives lost.  Since government sides with corporations, not the people, don't expect any help their either.

However, Small Flockers will help.  Here is what SFPFC suggests:
  1. Each government must educate their populations on the scientifically known facts (not speculations, not farm propaganda, nor half baked theories) about farm antibiotics and all forms of antibiotic resistance.

  2. Governments must re-survey their populations to verify and validate their knowledge and opinions on these important issues.

  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until the populations are well informed, and a consensus has developed.  Since 73% are already against excessive use of farm antibiotics, it is doubtful that this sea change will disappear.

  4. Using the newly gained expertise of the public, develop sustainable plans to rapidly improve the situation, ensuring that social, environmental, and financial interests are balanced.
  5. Figure 1:  To be sustainable, all systems must balance the economic, environmental, and social issues.  Of course, that is exactly opposite to what the lobbyists and the special interest groups want to occur, so they spray their propaganda everywhere, and whisper into the ears of the politicians and bureaucrats so they obtain or retain their monopolies and advantages against the best interest of the people and the planet.

.Here is a quote from 1970 that seems like it was said yesterday:

"A society that blindly accepts the decisions of experts is a sick society on its way to death. The time has come when we must produce, alongside specialists, another class of scholars and citizens who have broad familiarity with the facts, methods, and objectives of science and thus are capable of making judgements about scientific policies.  Persons who work at the interface of science and society have become essential simply because almost everything that happens in society is influenced by science."
Scientist-Philosopher Rene DeBos,
Rockerfeller University "Reason Awake:   Science for Man",
Columbia University Institute for the Study of Science in Human Affairs, 1970, 280 pages, P. 227

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