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Ozone Research: Food and Water Purification

The article below sheds a very bright light on the abuse of antibiotics and hormones in the agriculture industry.

Ozone used in the purification and decontamination of food products should be carefully considered by any health conscious individual.

Antibiotic Abuse in Agriculture1

You can't prevent the presence
of antibiotics in food sources...

Ozonate your Food to Remove Pesticides, Chemicals, and Antibiotics
...but you can remove the antibiotics!
Food and Water Ozonator

Because organic practices recognize and respect the powerful nature of antibiotics, organic practices protect human health in the long term. Organic practices prohibit the use of hormones, antibiotics or other animal drugs in animal feed for the purpose of stimulating the growth or production of livestock. If an antibiotic is used to restore an animal to health, that animal cannot be used for organic production or be sold, labeled or represented as organic. Thus, organic practices avoid the abuse of antibiotics that could have profound consequences for treatment of disease in humans, including the serious dangers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The following highlight findings concerning the abuse of antibiotics in agriculture:

Public health authorities now link low-level antibiotic use in conventionally raised livestock directly to greater numbers of people contracting infections that resist treatment with the same drugs. Microbiologist Rustam Aminov and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered that bacteria in the soil and groundwater beneath farms seem to be acquiring tetracycline resistance genes from bacteria originating in pigs' guts. Studying the environmental effects of antibiotics used as growth promoters on two swine farms, Aminov's team analyzed samples from farm-waste lagoons and from groundwater reservoirs beneath the lagoons, and found that bacteria in the soil and groundwater carried tetracycline resistance genes.2

A preliminary survey of beef and poultry sold in U.S. supermarkets conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found relatively high levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a report presented at the 101st annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in May 2001. FDA microbiologist Dr. David Wagner reported that investigators found "fairly substantial amounts of resistance to a number of drugs."3

The American Medical Association in June 2001 adopted a resolution opposing the use of antimicrobials at non-therapeutic levels in agriculture, or as pesticides or growth promoters, and urged that such uses be ended or phased out based on scientifically sound risk assessments.4

"The reason to buy meat without antibiotics is not because the antibiotics in the meat are transferred to the
person, but because of how the antibiotics increase the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria," according to
Dr. Stuart Levy, director of the Center of Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance at Tufts University
Medical School, in a New York Times article by Marion Burros.5

Carol Goforth, the Clayton N. Little Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas, and Robyn Goforth, a biochemistry graduate student, have called for regulation of antibiotic use in livestock due to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans. In a paper in the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, the Goforths cited the growing body of scientific literature linking sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics in livestock to mutated, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and to outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.6

In its report "WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance," the United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) noted that farmers' use of antibiotics to fatten livestock and poultry enables microbes to build up defenses against the drugs, jump up the food chain, and attack human immune systems. WHO urged farmers to stop the practice of using antibiotics for growth promotion if such antimicrobials are also used in humans.7

Conventional farmers routinely feed antibiotics to livestock because flocks and herds tend to grow faster with their use. However, scientists, doctors, and government officials fear this is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant "super-bugs." Farm animals in the United States receive 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics a year, which may be fueling the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). UCS noted that about 70 percent of all antibiotics made in the United States are used to fatten up livestock.8

Three studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine verified that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are widespread in commercial meats and poultry in the United States and also are found in consumers' intestines. The studies show evidence that the routine use of antibiotics to enhance growth in farm animals can encourage the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, which may threaten people who undercook their meat or consume food or water contaminated by animal droppings. An accompanying editorial written by Dr. Sherwood L. Gorbach, an infectious disease specialist at Tufts University's medical school, urged a ban on the routine use of low-dose antibiotics to aid animal growth and prevent infection because it sets up
conditions for the emergence of resistant bacteria.9

Water samples from the Ohio River and two of its tributaries contained trace amounts of commonly prescribed antibiotics, such as penicillin, tetraycline, and vancomycin. They were also present in area tap water. The results were from a science project undertaken by 17-year-old high school senior Ashley Mulroy.10

Findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine indicate that the controversial practice of administering antibiotics to cattle may have led to the development of salmonella resistant to the antibiotic ceftriaxone. The study, led by Paul Fey of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, examined the case of a 12-year-old boy infected with salmonella.11


Bibliography and References

1The above text may be directly accessed by visiting the Organic Trade Association's website:

2Source: Applied & Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 67, page 1494 (2001). Also cited in New Scientist
magazine, April 21, 2001.

3Source: 101st annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, May 2001.

4Source: American Medical Association, 515 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60610, 312-464-5000. Resolution
508: Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (adopted as amended, June 2001).

5Source: Jan. 17, 2001, New York Times article by Marian Burros.

6Source: "Appropriate Regulation of Antibiotics in Lifestock Feed," by Carol Goforth and Robyn Goforth, in the
Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, as cited in "The Cow & The Cure," by Melissa Blouin, in
University of Arkansas Research Frontiers, Spring 2001, pp. 28-29.

7Source: "WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance," United Nations' World Health
Organization, September 2001 (www.who.int).

8Source: "Hogging It: Estimates of Antimicrobial Abuse in Livestock," by Margaret Mellon, Charles Benbrook,
and Karen Lutz Benbrook, Union of Concerned Scientists, January 2001 (report available at www.ucsusa.org).

9Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 345: pages 1147-1154, 1155-1160, and 1161-1166, Oct.
18, 2001

10Source: "Water Worries," in Popular Science, May 2001, p. 42.

11Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, April 27, 2000


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