Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Katie Couric's Report on Antibiotic Use in Livestock

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Tonight will begin the two part series on CBS News about antibiotic use in livestock. Unfortunately by the looks of the preview, Katie is going to be more interested being an activist rather than a journalist. Just count how many times she uses the undefineable term "factory farm" in this preview.

I am very concerned about "superbugs" and antibiotic resistance, just like everyone else. However, attacking one area of usage, mostly the low hanging fruit, will not help. All of us use products that are designed to kill bacteria every single day. If we want to have a serious discussion about antibiotic resistance, we are going to need to evaluate everything. I will be disappointed if Katie doesn't address that.

This should open up many opportunities for family farmers and ranchers to explain how and why they use antibiotics. Their is a big misconception that all livestock are fed antibiotics all the time. The phrase most commonly used is "they are pumped full of antibiotics". They are just too expensive to do such a thing. I don't know who she refers to everytime she talks about a factory farm, but everyone that I know who raises livestock tries to give them the very best care possible.

That's the story I am looking forward to sharing with people.


DLD said...

Thanks for covering this topic.

The CDC says that all drugs fall victim to resistance over time.

The CDC also blames the over-prescription of human antibiotics for the rise of super-bugs.

I have stats and links on my website www.agropinion.com if anyone needs some details to help craft a response to this report.

Jim F Loos said...

I saw part 1 yesterday, I initial reaction was wow they didn’t show any cows, how could this be ranchers always get targeted first. But then I remembered that in the beginning draft of the Health Care Bill there was an attempt to ban over the counter antibiotics for animals and they could only be purchased trough a veterinarian, Swine produces where fighting this hard for good reason. So then it was easy to see why that part was focused on swine.

I can only speak for myself, but I use antibiotics only when it is necessary. I am in consist contact with my veterinarian and speak to him about all animal care issues at least twice a month. He is the first speed dial on the cell phone, and I would bet all ranchers got their vets programmed in.

Just an other example of the media exaggerating the news to sell papers attack people food supply and they will listen. They take one small fact and blow it up until it is misinformation.

Anonymous said...

There have been so many news reports lately that are negative toward farming. I've noticed that the majority of the time, the experts interviewed are from the East coast or midAtlantic states. However, the largest agricultural colleges are in the heart of the corn belt. Why aren't they interviewing any experts from the U of I? You're right; it is all sensationalism designed to sell their stories. They don't care who they hurt. I'm considering pitching my tv. In light of the recent ag "news", I've come to distrust ANYTHING the media writes a story about.

Anonymous said...

I have had this discussion with several people who have the same misconception. Granted, they don't have an agricultural background, and our job as agvocates is to educate them about ag. I want to show them facts, not just give them my opinion and what I know!

Can you help me find factual articles explaining why antibiotics are used and their benefits? Also maybe some articles about why we strive so hard to produce a safe and healthy food supply.

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