a new biology of gut

The risky habit of livestock antibiotics in the USA is finally managed.

In a move that caught the livestock industry by surprise, the Food and Drug administration this week called for ending the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in livestock and requiring veterinary approval for all other uses of the drugs.

Antibiotic use “should be limited to those situations where human and animal health are protected,” said Joshua Sharfstein, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner.

Sharfstein announced the policy changes that would end the farm usage of seven classes of antibiotics, including penicillins and tetracyclines, except to treat ill animals. [that’s smart]

No surprise to me. Europe condemned usage years ago. Excess antibiotics in billions of animals as well as mis-management by humans accelerates the selection of drug-resistant bacteria. We don’t need that one bit.

Antibiotic use in livestock begins at weaning. It’s all about efficiency and weight. Without the normal weeks of a mother’s fortified milk, the young intestine is vulnerable to harmful bacteria. It takes time to populate a healthy gut with a balance of beneficial bacteria, therefore early use of antibiotics have been thought to reduce illness, increase efficient digestion and thus sponsor growth.

Many agri-firms and their pocketed corporate-centric Republicans are bellyaching, although several top firms stopped using hormones and antibiotics years ago.

Meat might go up 2%. The industry’s more important challenges, if Wall Street offers credit, are imminent increases in process energy prices, extensive refrigeration costs, and volatile transportation fuel.

Obama gets things done. A news article said he already has 135 major projects in Congress, plus several thousand agency rules are being adjusted or re-written in order to reduce spending, increase deliverables and fix thirty years of trumpeted neglect.