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Are the antibiotics that are added to animal feed harmful to humans?

The practice of giving antibiotics routinely to farm animals has caused most bacteria in meat to be resistant to antibiotics.

Salmonella is a bacteria that infects both animal and humans. It causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever and even death. When farm animals are given antibiotics to prevent infections, these antibiotics kill susceptible bacteria, leaving in the animals only bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Then, resistant bacteria are transmitted to humans who eat the meat.

One study showed that twenty percent of supermarket meats contained salmonella, with 84 percent of the salmonella resistant to at least one antibiotic, and 53 percent resistant to at least three. This could be prevented with strict laws to prevent farmers from routinely giving all animals antibiotics. Until then, you can protect yourself by cooking meat well before you eat it.

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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