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Antibiotics & Hormones in Food

From the Show: CLEAN Food Network
Summary: Just as antibiotic overuse has become a problem in the human population, antibiotics and other drugs are also overused in animal agriculture in the U.S.
Air Date: 4/18/16
Duration: 10 Minutes
Guest Bio: Cameron Harsh, Senior Manager for Organic and Animal Policy at Center for Food Safety
Cameron-HarshAs the Senior Manager for Organic and Animal Policy at Center for Food Safety, Cameron Harsh works to provide in-depth research and analysis, draft informational materials, and coordinate with other organizations for projects in the Organic & Beyond, Animal Factories, and International campaigns. His current work at CFS is focused largely on highlighting the environmental and public health consequences of industrial animal production, including the overuse of certain drugs, and promoting strong national standards for organic farming.

Before joining CFS, Cameron worked with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and co-authored a report on the economic benefits of locally-scaled composting initiatives. He earned an M.A. in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and an M.A. in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC. His graduate research focused on sustainable food systems with an emphasis on gender dynamics in U.S. agriculture.

Prior to grad school, Cameron worked on a number of community-based food justice projects in Seattle, including developing urban food gardens and teaching gardening classes.
  • Guest Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/centerforfoodsafety/
  • Guest Twitter Account: @CFSTrueFood
Antibiotics & Hormones in Food
Just as antibiotic overuse has become a problem in the human population, antibiotics and other drugs are also overused in animal agriculture in the U.S.

There is a time and place for antibiotic use, such as if a animal becomes ill and needs to be treated. 

However, for decades now, antibiotics have been approved and used in animals for other purposes, such as "production purposes." These drugs promote growth, improve feed efficiency (animal gains more weight by eating less food), and prevent illness in animals confined in small, tight spaces. 

This has resulted in rising antibiotic resistance, which is a concern in both animals and humans, especially kids, the elderly, and those individuals who are immune-compromised.

Fortunately, organizations like the Center for Food Safety (CFS) is raising awareness about the dangers of overuse.

The CFS does not aim to eradicate antibiotic use completely; you'd still want farmers to be able to use antibiotics to treat illness in animals. Again, the problem arises when these drugs are overused and for the wrong purposes.

Listen in as Cameron Harsh, Senior Manager for Organic and Animal Policy at CFS, joins host Lisa Davis to provide information on why antibiotic use is so detrimental to both human and animal health.
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