Agricultural use of antibiotics is a public safety risk

Photo Credit:  Michael Mortensen Photo Credit: Michael Mortensen

A panel convened by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health released a report recently warning that the use of antibiotics puts the public at risk from exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The 14-person panel examined the link between broad, low-dose applications of antibiotics in livestock rearing, and concluded that these uses could increase the presence of dangerous antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The report states that non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics “pose unnecessary and unreasonable public health risks.” According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug-resistant infections are the cause of 23,000 deaths per year in the United States.