We just can’t keep the bad stuff fenced in

Cattle Fence On Farm

Lots of folks tend to think that our only exposure to the pesticides and antibiotics used in agriculture comes through the food products produced with those compounds.

Not so, my friend.

A few years back, the Environmental Defense Fund conducted a survey of antibiotic use in animal agriculture production. As a part of that report, they found that 57% of the nearly 1,500 tons of antibiotics fed to livestock in Iowa in one year alone were excreted in the manure and urine from those animals. That’s 852 tons of antibiotics released into the soil, streams and air. According to newly released figures from FDA, the use of medically-important antibiotics increased by 16% between 2009 and 2012.

Now, the U.S. Geological Survey just released a study concluding that 90% of the urban waterways in the U.S. carried traces of agricultural pesticides. The study noted that the levels were “only harmful to aquatic life” like fish, frogs and insects. Any assurance that something will only kill fish and frogs is hardly an assurance for me.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now warning the public that rising rates of antibiotic resistance now comprise one of the top health threats facing the nation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working with conventional livestock producers to cut the use of medially-important antibiotics in agriculture. Several of the largest meat and poultry companies have pledged to “phase out” their use of these antibiotics.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll buy my food from farmers who have already stopped using those antibiotics and pesticides.

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