In light of the pendingAntibiotic Resistance Armageddon, Ontario Doctors want to corral routine antibiotic use in livestock by making it only available to sick animals via a veterinarian.
A Little Context…
A few months ago, the world was warned about the global health risk of super-bugs thanks to the overuse of antibiotics. Now, the Ontario Medical Association is pointing the finger at livestock farmers and saying its not just us, its them too!
In Canada, farmers have the rare freedom to buy antibiotics in bulk and feed them to their animals as they see fit. There are no regulations, no inspections, no need to involve a veterinarian and certainly no requirement to label meat as having come from animals pumped full of antibiotics. Even America has stricter rules than Canada.
Why would farmers do that? Simple. With animals living in close quarters, any infection is likely to spread quickly and dramatically impact the farmers investment. Plus, pigs, cows, chickens; they all grow faster when theyre hopped up on antibiotics. This means farmers can get them to market faster and charge more. So, by dosing them preventatively they can protect their investment and make more money. Why wouldnt afarmerbusiness want to do that?
Well, as the doctors point out, people who consume meat laced with antibiotics risk developing immunity to antibiotics. So, when we need to fight something like, say scarlet fever or the black plague, antibiotics dont work. And were back to Armageddon.
Swap supply and demand.Since the farmers are doing it to thrive in the existing economic model, we need to change that model. We have toDemandantibiotic-free meat and be willing to pay a little more for thatSupply.
Watch what you buy.Ask your local market to start carrying antibiotic-free meat or buy directly from your local organic livestock farmer. You may have to eat less meat in order to afford the untainted stuff but consider it an investment in your health.
Vote with your dollars and vote with your votes too.Let your MLA know that you want the government to step in and regulate how this potentially harmful drug is added to our food.
Reach out to the powerful.Contact The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, to let him know its time for Canada to catch up with the world, to pay attention to the most recent science and to protect Canadians future health. You may want to remind him the FIRST mandate of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is to protect Canadians from preventable health risks.
We cant expect a farmer to make less money out of the goodness of their heart but we can expect politicians to do whats right for the Canadian publics health – even if theyre only doing it to save their own bacon!