It’s no secret that factory farms are breeding grounds for deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the threat of untreatable infections has never been greater. In fact, a recent study found that by 2050 about 10 million people will die each year as a result of such infections.
Now, new research published in the journal Pediatrics argues that the overuse and misuse of antibiotics on factory farms is literally killing children.
The researchers explain:
Infants and children are affected by transmission of susceptible and resistant food zoonotic pathogens through the food supply, direct contact with animals, and environmental pathways. In 2013, a total of 19,056 infections, 4,200 hospitalizations, and 80 deaths were reported to the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, a CDC surveillance system covering 15% of the US population. For most infections, incidence was highest among children younger than 5 years.
According to Mother Jones, “With their developing immune systems, children are particularly vulnerable—salmonella alone causes more than 120,000 illnesses, 44,000 physician visits, 4,600 hospitalizations, and 38 deaths annually among kids younger than five.”
As you might expect, the meat industry claims that the current abuse of antibiotics on factory farms is not a problem. But as Mother Jones asks, “Who are you going to believe—the folks charged with keeping your kids healthy, or the ones charged with profitably churning out billions of meat animals each year?”
As though the situation weren’t bad enough, factory farmers also subject billions of animals to cruelty few of us can even imagine, including extreme confinement, mutilations without painkillers, and ruthless slaughter.
Have a look:
The best thing we can do protect animals and the health of our families is to leave meat and other animal products off our plates for good.
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