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  • "Antibiotics save lives, without a doubt. They are so instrumental in our health care, but we use them irresponsibly. We use them for a cold or virus, which are totally unnecessary; they won't do anything for a virus. We use them as a preventative measure, and a lot times you don't need that, either." -- CHRISTINA FUHRMAN, antibiotic stewardship advocate
  • The bad news: overusing antibiotics is a common crutch; the good news: rebounding from such behavior can deliver immediate results. Advocate CHRISTINA FUHRMAN can speak with first-hand experience about this topic and does so on today's show. August 17, 2021
  • Public health is due for an upgrade. That was one take-away of a recent lecture from a 20-plus year veteran of the field, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the...
  • All week, Harvest Public Media’s series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American…
  • For the first time, scientists have estimated the amount of antibiotics pigs, chickens and cows consume globally — and how fast consumption is growing. Which country uses the most drugs on farms?
  • Random tests of milk reveal that a few farmers are treating dairy cows with antibiotics that aren't supposed to be used on them. The FDA is now considering tighter controls to prevent such practices.
  • The largest association of U.S. physicians is calling for tighter rules on antibiotic use in livestock. The American Medical Association (AMA) says there…
  • This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.All year long,…
  • The FDA wants to phase out antibiotics in meat.Regulators released a broad plan earlier this month, designed to prevent meat producers from using drugs…
  • Soil bacteria may be helping to make disease-causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics. That’s according to a new study out of Washington University. Lead researcher, microbiologist Gautam Dantas, says he and his colleagues found seven genes in farmland soil bacteria that are identical to genes in human pathogens – and that provide resistance to a wide range of antibiotics. Dantas says the genes for antibiotic resistance were clustered together with other genes known to move DNA between bacteria. “Now you have these multi-drug resistance clusters, these genes clusters, which in principle, in a single transfer event, could transfer multi-drug resistance from one bacteria to the other,” Dantas said. Dantas says soil bacteria could be passing genes to human pathogens, or vice versa. “Even though these bacteria might live most of the time in different spaces, associated with humans, or associated with the soil, or associated with aquatic environments, they have the ability to exchange these genes,” Dantas said. “And they’re exchanging genes that are clearly going to compromise our ability to treat infectious disease.” Dantas says antibiotics are being overused both in human medicine and in agriculture, and combatting antibiotic resistance is going to take a joint effort in agriculture and medicine. “We need to be better about how we regulate antibiotic use in animals, and at the same time, better about how we regulate the prescription of antibiotics in the clinic,” Dantas said. His research is published in the journal Science. Follow Veronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience