In a paper published last month in Environmental Health Perspectives, experts explain how administering medicine through animal fodder can cause antibiotic resistant bacteria to develop.
“If they don’t get all their food, they don’t get all the medicine, and if they don’t get all the medicine, then the whole bacteria population isn’t wiped out, and that leads to antibiotic resistance,” explains Dr. David Love, co-author of the paper and project director of Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future.
And of course, often the sickest animals are the very ones who get pushed out the way at feed time and consquently do not get sufficent medicated feed to kill off the bacteria plaguing them.
Another issue identified by the paper is that wild animals living nearby may eat the medicated feed and then develop antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
More information on the paper, “Medicated Feed Poses Risks for Humans” at Food Safety News.