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Legislation

WHO Wants to Phase Out Use of Antibiotic Growth Hormones

15 years, 10 months ago

2299  0
Posted on Jan 29, 2004, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a plea for countries to stop giving animals bred for meat antibiotic growth hormones. Farmers use these hormones to boost the growth of their animals and therefore get them to market more quickly, however there is increasing evidence that their use is accelerating the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a plea for countries to stop giving animals bred for meat antibiotic growth hormones. Farmers use these hormones to boost the growth of their animals and therefore get them to market more quickly, however there is increasing evidence that their use is accelerating the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The WHO made their plea after seeing results of a study conducted in Denmark, where the use of antibiotic growth hormones was banned in 1998. Results of this study showed that the level of antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in pork and chicken dropped dramatically once farmers stopped using growth hormones. Before the ban, 60-80% of chickens were found to be infected with bacteria that were resistant to three widely used antibiotics. However, once the ban came into effect just 5-35% of chickens tested positive for the drug-resistant bacteria. Such findings suggest that stopping the use of these controversial hormones will preserve and increase the effectiveness of human antibiotics, and thus aid us in the fight against potentially fatal antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by Citizens for Health (http://website.citizens.org) on the 21st August 2003.

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