7,000 dead yearly from antibiotic resistant bacterium.

Purple bacteriaAntibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics. In Australia, 7000 people die every year from antibiotic resistant bacteria.[1]

For most of us, we think of antibiotics as being prescribed by a doctor to treat a bacterial infection. However, livestock are often fed antibiotics at low doses to prevent disease and  promote growth, which then end up in our food supply. In Australia between 1992-1997, 700 tonnes of antibiotics were imported annually, 64% of which was used in stockfeed and for the treatment of animals. Only 36% was used for human prescription.[2]

The disturbing truth about livestock & superbugs…

“Rarely has modern medicine faced such a grave threat. Without antibiotics, treatments from minor surgery to major transplants could become impossible, and health care costs are likely to spiral as we resort to newer, more expensive antibiotics and sustain longer hospital admissions”, write experts in the UK, warning that death rates from infection could rise to those seen during the early 20th century.[3]

Authorities have known for some time that we will, at some point, no longer be able to use antibiotics effectively to treat disease because the bacteria they are designed to kill are becoming resistant. In America, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has discovered that 4 of the 12 resistant pathogens that pose a threat to human health are found in food. The 4 in question, are Campylobacter, Salmonella, E.Coli & Shigella.

This excerpt was taken from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority webpage:

  1. “In addition, particular antibiotics can be used in feed or water in low concentrations to increase the efficiency of feed conversion resulting in increased body weight gain, or to prevent disease. Antibiotics approved for this use are generally those that are considered low risk to human health and are generally used without veterinary intervention.”

Antibiotics given to livestock are believed to be one of the main causes of the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. A senate inquiry has recommended that all antibiotics listed as being critically required for human treatment be banned from being used on livestock. Better testing for imported food has also been highly recommended. [4]

Natural medicine can help…

Fortunately, natural medicine is becoming more widely accepted as a viable alternative to antibiotics. Herbs such as Echinacea, Myrrh, and Cats Claw are fantastic, natural and effective ways to treat infection, with proven anti-microbial actions. With the fall of the antibiotic era soon to be upon us, the human race will again have to turn to Mother Nature for the cure.

Antibiotic resistance diagram

Source: CDC.gov, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013

[2] Turnridge, J. Antibiotics in animals – much ado about something. Aust Prescr 2001;24:26-7.

[3]Cooper.C. “Superbugs could erase a century of medical advances”, Experts Warn. The Independent, November 2013.

[4] Duxfield. F. Inquiry recommends ban on ‘critical’ antibiotics on farms. ABC rural. June 11, 2013