Most Americans have learned through the years that antibiotic use doesn't cure the common cold, and that misuse of the lifesaving drugs can be detrimental to fighting off bacterial infections. There is ever growing concern expressed from the American Medical Association and other health groups about the use of antibiotics on industrial farms.
Pressure is mounting in Congress to limit the routine use of antibiotics in food animal production, in part because of concerns over the rising number of antibiotic-resistant infections in people and animals. Health scientist Shelley Hearne with the Pew Health Group says the medications should only be used to battle infections in humans and animals, and other uses should be limited.
Hearne says several countries are looking at limits on factory farm antibiotic use, and the U-S should be a leader in new technologies and methods for animal health and farm profits.
Antibiotics help chickens and pigs grow bigger faster, and are advertised that way by manufacturers. Denmark banned the routine use of antibiotics on pig farms about ten years ago because of the recognition they were being overused in food animals.