Doctor's Note

Note Purdue, our third largest poultry producer, recently stopped much of their antibiotic usage due to consumer pressure—a good sign!

For those not familiar with MRSA, please see my past videos on the topic:

For more on antibiotic use on the farm, see:

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  • Merio

    Voluntarily aligning ?

    FDA gimme a break.

    It’s like to ask to a serial killer to stop killing innocents and then leave him alone.

    Sorry for the comparison, but i think that the situation is awful.

    • Adrien

      There’s no need for you to apologise. I think you’re absolutely right.. I thought the same thing !

      The FDA is full of people from industry anyway.. I’m absolutely not surprised. Why though ?

  • Sally

    This topic would make a great 60 MINUTES article.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    And my patients sometimes wonder why I get so down on Corporate Agribusiness. Duh!!!!!!!!!!!

    Every time is see expose’s like this I feel appalled with the majority of our government and their lack of moral and ethical fortitude regarding our health, nutrition and food supply. I’m glad Dr. Greger and Dr. Barnard with PCRM are educating the public and fighting the Good ‘Ol Boy club in DC.

    It really is ridiculous for me to think that corporations sit around and think, “Let’s keep producing as much food as we can even if it is at the expense of our consumers who are consuming it.”

    There’s no long term goal, because if there was the corporations would see that if their food is making people fat, sick and dead, then eventually they will have no more consumers. They are sabotaging and defeating themselves in the end. Non-sustainable business is a good way for any company to become defunct! That’s Business 101.

    What is it going to take to get many in our country to “wake up” and realize what we are doing to ourselves? Ebola worked! Is that what we need, a major bacterial and/or viral disaster created from our food supply to cause change?

    • Rae516

      C.diff and MRSA aren’t “major”?

      • HemoDynamic, M.D.

        Neither of those bacteria I would consider a major disaster; however, depending on your definition that subject is open for debate. They definitely do not appear to be beneficial.

        Both those “bugs” are of concern but to begin with C. difficile is from normal human gut flora, and humans taking antibiotics created the disease, it’s not from animal origin. Brief History of Clostridium difficile.

        And MRSA (which has been genetically linked to cattle from over 40 years ago) was apparently caused by humans taking antibiotics to fight the Staph. aureus infection from cows, which resulted in antibiotic resistant Staph aureus (eg. MRSA-methicillin resistant Staph. aureus). Human MRSA strain Origin. And also neither of these bacterially created diseases appears to be related to our food supply, we created them by the use of antibiotics on ourselves.

        I’m talking about a “major” catastrophe like the Flu Pandemic of 1918. Current world wide farming practices are creating a real potential for another pandemic and hopefully we change our ways before this happens. Unfortunately greed appears to be the motivating factor with these corporations and there is nothing rational about that line of thinking.

  • Wanda Smythe

    frontline did a whole show on antibiotics in farming. ears seem to be very deaf in this country.

    • http://Oozemon.com Coacervate

      Frontline? Isn’t that on at the same time as the Kardashians?

      • Wanda Smythe

        you can DVD it :)

  • Wanda Smythe

    here is a link to the FRONTLINE documentary

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/trouble-with-antibiotics/

  • Wanda Smythe

    many of the animals would otherwise die in the horrible crowded conditions of confinement. just disgusting.

  • Tom Niemoeller

    Daunting information, but sloppy production: Dr. Greger says less than a penny while the value on screen is more than a nickel; the big poultry producer is Perdue, not Purdue.

    • dogulas

      I think it’s actually an error in the paper, and Greger is right. With savings of 25 cents per animals that weigh hundreds of pounds, I can’t see how 25 cents per animal would equate to 5 cents per pound of meat, unless these animals weigh close to four pounds… 25 cents divided by 480 pounds of meat (now we’re talking) equates to .052 cents, or $0.005. I think that is what they meant to write. Whoever did write it made an error. Why would you put a dollar sign in front of the number and then write cents after it? Dollar-cents?

      • tedster

        0.052 cents would actually be $0.0005. Less than 1/10th of a cent per pound. How the heck did the “dollar-cents” make it past peer-review anyway?

  • Crama

    The Way of All Flesh: Undercover in an industrial slaughterhouse by Ted Conover, is an article he wrote for Harper’s Magazine, May, 2013 issue (pay wall), where he describes what he encountered being a newbie USDA meat inspector. I do remember one particular section of his article where he was placed on the liver line. His job was to inspect the livers for cancerous lesions. He said he kept seeing an inordinate number of bad livers that he had to keep rejecting. He asked the line veterinarian why these livers were so diseased. She said it was because the feed ration fed to the cattle in the feed lots had too much antibiotic, and therefore caused the diseased livers. She said they were always adjusting the levels of antibiotics in the feed to maximized weight gain, but lesson making the animals sick.

    So, here we have a situation where a government agency allegedly tasked with the job of protecting the nation’s food supply, yet, clearly is not doing so. The FDA (as well as the USDA) is effectively there to help maximize the profits of US corporations, not to protect the populace. They are complicit in destroying, what once was an effective tool for modern medicine. We are now at the point which was projected a number of years ago, whereby modern medicine’s foundational tool, antibiotics, is fast approaching (if not there already) worthlessness.

    Here is an audio interview with Ted Conover on the The Leonard Lopate Show: http://www.wnyc.org/story/289316-ted-conover-goes-undercover-meat-inspector/

    • Crama

      After listening to the audio interview I referenced, Ted claimed that according to Eli Lilly, the maker of the antibiotics used, the antibiotics were used to help prevent the abscesses in the livers, not the cause of it.

  • James Wald

    It’s great to point out broken organizations. Who specifically can we hold accountable for this? Who’s really in charge? Surely this will comparable to a crime against humanity at some point.

    • Jocelyn

      A crime indeed, against animals (human and non) everywhere. No need to hold anyone accountable, or should I say so way to hold anyone accountable. The very perpetrators of these crimes are the same ones who should be holding the guilty accountable.

      When we stop eating the products of greed, disease, misery and despair, and remove ourselves from perpetuating the problems that are animal agribusiness, we are indeed forcing the system to change – or maybe better yet, creating a new system all together. The dollars you spend are the only votes that count.

      • Brigitte

        Shopping is voting!

  • Gary Lawrence

    I live in France. The French consume huge amounts of antibiotics even while the government warns against antibiotics misuse. The interesting facts are that two thirds of all antibiotic production in France is for the meat producers here.

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    Livestock production and consumption is a lose lose situation – either you die slowly (cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation) or you die quickly (resistant bacteria) – in the end we become extinct because of ignorance….

    • Alice Hilt

      Not so much as ignorance but lack of positive action to correct this unhealthy disgusting way of corporate greed st the expense of the American consumer. And lack of compassion for human life.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Good to see you still around! I thought you might like this grim comic.

  • SeedyCharacter

    Just wait . . . with Republicans just winning so many governorships and Senate & House seats, we’ll be seeing major undoing of the already weak guidelines around antibiotics in animal feed. These so-called legislators are bought and paid for by Big Pharm, the Cattlemen’s Association, etc.

  • Theodoros Angelides

    Doctor, I would like to ask a question regarding Preworkout and Postworkout supplements. Lately I have found myself spending too much money on workout supplements (excluding protein and creatine) and it has start to become a concern to me the money I spend and if these supplements work or if everyone on the web is just posting good reviews (being paid to post them or posts are by employees). Do preworkouts containing bcaa’s, beta alanine, arginine and other ammino acids and stuff really help you during your workout and to avoid catabolism afterwards? For postworkout does glutamine (as a supplement) really help? Should I just go with some guarana pill before workout and a banana and some vegan protein afterwards accompanied by 2 pills spirulina and 5g creatine?

    • Merio

      I think to have the right site for you (thanks to CarbSane):

      http://examine.com/

      And maybe even this site could help you out:

      http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/

    • tedster

      Why not just stick with something for a week or so, then change it up and see how it affects your performance. By no means a blind-study, but if your performance isn’t changing, then you may be wasting your money (and adversely affecting your health). You should probably change only one variable at a time if you’re serious about this.

    • http://www.starknakedhealth.com Claude Mondiere

      When you have this kind of concern you need to design a nutrition plan with a nutritionist knowing your needs or your medical doctor who knows you. It will cost you less to get the proper prescription.

  • Amy Caruthers

    But then, without antibiotics, the farming and slaughtering practices would have to be made safer. My guess is that would cost way more than they would ever be willing to spend!