January 6, 2009

Antibiotics: From Livestock to Crops

Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens

Communications Director

Center for a Livable Future

An article in today’s Environmental Health News reports vegetable crops are absorbing antibiotics used in livestock production. Research conducted at the University of Minnesota showed levels of antibiotics commonly used in livestock production turning up in corn, lettuce and other plants. The transfer from livestock to crops takes place when manure, which is used as fertilizer, is added to the soil to help plants grow. Last April, concerned about the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the human population, the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production called for the phase out and ban of non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials in livestock production.

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