If you’ve ever debated about antibiotics in animal production, and you believe that responsible use of antibiotics to prevent or treat disease is a good thing and that there are no antibiotic residues in the food you eat, you may have spent a good deal of time getting your points across.
But if people who doubt the merits of judicious animal antibiotic use would simply take less than three minutes out of their day to view a new video released by the Center for Accountability in Science regarding common misconceptions about animal antibiotic use, it could sure get the message out there and free up a lot of time that can be spent on something else.
Narrated by Dr. Joseph Perrone, the center’s chief science officer, the video – in all its brevity – debunks many common misconceptions. Perrone’s status as an unbiased scientist lends substantial credibility to his message.
Perrone points out that a growing number of restaurants like Subway, Chipotle and Au Bon Pain are serving or planning to exclusively serve antibiotic-free meat. Perrone asks: “Is this meat actually healthier for consumers?”
He goes on to confirm that it is not.
“Choosing a burrito or a foot-long sub labeled antibiotic-free, might make you feel like you’re making a healthier choice, but in reality, you’re paying more for a label,” he said.
Perrone explains that antibiotics are an important tool for farmers to treat sick animals and prevent animals from getting ill. By strategically using antibiotics, farmers ensure only meat from healthy animals eventually makes it to your plate.
He also addresses those who think that when they eat meat from animals treated with antibiotics, they too will get a dose. He explains the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has strict guidelines that animals be taken off of the antibiotics for a period of time before they enter the food supply. “That means all meat you buy or eat in the U.S. is already antibiotic-free,” said Perrone.
Finally, he does what he can to ease the minds of those concerned with the problem of growing antibiotic resistance in humans and the potential role that treating animals might have on it. Perrone states there is no evidence that countries that limit the use of antibiotics in agriculture have any less instances of human antibiotic resistance. He notes that a new study shows animal antibiotic use plays an insignificant factor in antibiotic resistance, and we should be much more concerned with overprescription of antibiotics in human medicine and patients not taking those antibiotics as prescribed.
As of Friday morning, the video already had nearly 127,000 views. I hope word spreads about this video, as it is very seldom so much useful information is packaged into such a brief video. Regardless of your opinion on antibiotics in animal agriculture, this video is certainly worthy of 2 minutes and 21 seconds of your time.