More than Pixie Dust from the Feedlots

Okay, let’s talk a little basic biology.

As anyone who has ever taken an antibiotic—or administered an antibiotic to a sick child—can attest, not all of that medicine stays inside our bodies. Some of it passes through.

That’s why I was hardly surprised to see a report last month “finding” that the air surrounding feedlots in the High Plains was filled with dust containing antibiotics and feedlot-derived bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance is becoming a significant topic among a growing segment of the scientific community, and among the general public. And, there is growing agreement that the widespread use of antibiotics to promote rapid growth in farm animals is a large factor in that antibiotic resistance.

The USDA and the Food and Drug Administration years ago sought to protect the public from exposure to antibiotics in meat by mandating a period of time prior to slaughter when the animals could not be administered antibiotics.

But that doesn’t do anything to solve the problem because…well…a lot of those antibiotics simply pass through the animals. And end up in feedlot dust. And the soil. And the water.

The best way to keep antibiotics as a reliable tool for human health is to purchase meat, dairy and poultry products that were never ever administered antibiotics.

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