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Could a user fee curb excessive antibiotics use?

Industrial feedlots are huge sources of greenhouse gases. PHOTO COURTESY DAVIS CREEK FARMS.

Large-scale use of antibiotics for food production needs to be curbed, scientists say.

‘The real value of antibiotics is saving people from dying. Everything else is trivial’

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Massive use of antibiotics for food production is only marginally beneficial and poses a huge long-term risk to human health, researchers in Canada say. In a new paper, the scientists proposed a user fee that could help curb excessive application antibiotics in the agriculture and aquaculture industries.

The new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine explains that in the United States 80 per cent of the antibiotics in the country are consumed in agriculture and aquaculture for the purpose of increasing food production.

The flood of antibiotics sprayed on fruit trees and fed to livestock, poultry and salmon has led bacteria to evolve. Mounting evidence cited in the journal shows how resistant pathogens are emerging — resulting in an increase in bacteria that is immune to available treatments. Continue reading

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Ancient beer brewers cultivated antibiotics

Ancient Nubians probably cultivated antibiotics as part of the beer-brewing process long before the 'official' discovery of penicillin in 1928.

New research shows 2,000-year-old civilizations treated disease with tetracycline produced during the fermentation of grain used for beer-making

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient civilizations were cultivating antibiotics as part of the beer-brewing process — long before Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928.

A recent study that analyzed the bones of ancient Nubians shows they were regularly consuming tetracycline, most likely in their beer. The finding is the strongest evidence yet that the art of making antibiotics was common practice nearly 2,000 years ago. Continue reading

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