Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, October 21, 2017 04:25:38 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Catastrophic antibiotic threat from food

By
12th-Apr-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Tan Zhai Gen :
The greatly excessive use of antibiotics in food production in recent decades has made many bacteria more resistant to antibiotics. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has estimated that antibiotic use in animal husbandry, poultry farming and aquaculture in the US is over four times USDA recommended levels. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has estimated that 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the USA are used on animals.
Cheap antibiotics prone to abuse
Antibiotics are used to ensure better health and survival of animals bred for food, but they are also believed by many farmers to promote growth. As prices of antibiotics remain attractively low, they offer the prospect of higher earnings from greater output at low cost.
 Hence, there is little or no market incentive to reduce excessive, if not indiscriminate use, and hence abuse of antibiotics. Thus, such efforts to increase farmer incomes and profitability exacerbate the likelihood and risk of antibiotic resistance.
The widespread use of antibiotics through food chains is thus becoming catastrophic. A review by the FAO explains how antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals are infecting humans, through direct contact with animals or indirect transmission through the food we eat. Earlier, the spread of bacteria was popularly associated with international travel, but the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our food is now proving to be far more formidable.
'Recycling' antibiotics
Ecologically minded activists have long been promoting agricultural recycling, often citing traditional agricultural practices.
But adding antibiotics to animal feed has made this a threat to public health. The feed typically contains many drugs, including some only used by humans as antibiotics of last resort.
Much of the antibiotics given to livestock and poultry passes un-degraded through their urine and faeces, directly affecting food from aquaculture. Thus, waste from pigpens flowing into fishponds exposes fish and shrimps to the high doses of antibiotics that livestock get, on top of the antibiotics added to the pond water to prevent or address aquatic diseases.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria from this environment then passes to humans who consume such food.
While restrictions have already been widely placed on the use of hormones and steroids to promote growth, the excessive use of antibiotics by farmers has only gained attention in recent years, while a huge reservoir of resistant bacteria was emerging and spreading.
In November 2015, scientists discovered a gene in China that can enable many types of bacteria to become more antibiotic resistant. The gene has since been found in patients, food and animals from more than twenty countries. More worryingly, these bacteria can resist the last line of effective antibiotics available.
Catastrophic threat
A British government report estimates that about 700,000 people worldwide currently die annually due to antibiotic-resistant infections. If current trends continue, this mortality rate will rise to ten million yearly by mid-century, i.e., in just over three decades.
In the near future, antibiotics will become less effective in treating infections as bacteria mutate to become more resistant. Many more people will die of currently antibiotics-curable diseases. New antibiotics may delay this trend, but no new class of antibiotics has been discovered since the 1980s.
In line with the WHO's global action plan, member nations have pledged to draw up national action plans against antibiotics resistance, as part of a broader effort to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The lack of effective national surveillance and supervision of antibiotics use in animal products masks the severity of the threat.
Sadly, in most developing countries, the rising threat posed by the exponential growth of dangers due to excessive antibiotic use is mainly of concern to the authorities when it threatens export prospects.
As with improper and excessive pesticide use, the abuse of antibiotics is mainly of concern when it affects national reputations abroad and related export earnings, with scant attention given to the threats posed to domestic consumers.

(Jomo Kwame Sundaram is a former economics professor who served as a senior UN official during 2005-2015. Tan Zhai Gen is an University of Oxford biochemistry graduate currently involved in research. Both are Malaysians).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Football »

Giroud`s overhead kick gives Arsenal 1-0 win at Red Star


Agency :Olivier Giroud scored late in the second half for Arsenal to maintain its perfect Europa League campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.Five minutes after Milan Rodic was sent off for a second yellow card, Giroud struck with an overhead kick five minutes before ...

Entertainment »

Ali Fazal and Shriya Pilgaonkar come together for Web Series


Shriya Pilgaonkar who was appreciated for her Hindi film debut as Shahrukh Khan’s love interest in Fan and for her viral short film Jai Mata Di, is now going to be seen in a web show called Mirzapur produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for a global online platform ...

Editorial »

Flood victims yet to get enough support


GOVERNMENT and aid agencies have provided emergency relief for flood victims but not sufficient to settle flood victims as per media reports quoting Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers who tried to figure out the distribution system in the Haor areas. Over 37 lakh people were affected in the floods ...

City »

Islami Andolon Bangladesh brought out a rally in the city on Friday in protest against price hike of gas and electricity.


.

International »

Iranian Army chief, Assad discuss joint military strategy


Reuters, Beirut :Iran's military chief met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday during a visit to Damascus to set out a joint military strategy, Syria's state news agency reported, a sign of deepening Iranian influence that has alarmed Israel.General Mohammad Baqeri said Iran was determined to continue supporting the ...

Editorial »

Mr Xi`s new vision for China


CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald Trump is working on a reverse way isolating his country from the world leadership role. In the domestic front he has ...

International »

May to urge EU leaders to speed up Brexit talks


AFP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May will appeal to European Union leaders at a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday to push forward the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.At a meeting moved to a new venue at the last minute due to an eruption of toxic gas, May will urge her ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders recruit Brendon McCullum


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders have recruited wicketkeeper-batsman of New Zealand Brendon McCullum for the up coming fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur Riders Ishtiaq Sadek said to the newsmen, " We have confirmed that McCullum will join our squad on November 15. He will play ...

Entertainment »

Titaan Chowdhury hosting `Sampan`


'Sampan' is one of the popular programmes of Chittagong centre of Bangladesh Television of present time. Dance, music, magic, etc are presented in this show. Popular face of the small screen Titaan Chowdhury is hosting this programme. Positive side is Titaan is hailed from Chittagong. So it becomes easier for ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the Alia Madrasha Special Court in the city's Bakshibazar on Thursday seeking bail on Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust Graft cases.


International »

Threats to start war with North Korea `dangerous, short-sighted`: Hillary


Reuters, Seoul :  Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.Clinton also called on China to take a "more outfront role" in enforcing ...

Sports »

U-12 School Handball Tournament begins tomorrow


Sports Reporter :The Atom Gum Under-12 School Handball (Boys' & Girls') Tournament begins tomorrow at the Shaheed (Captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium.Bangladesh Handball Federation will organize the handball meet under auspices of Pran Confectionary Limited.In this regard, a press conference was held at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in ...

Editorial »

Diplomacy must work in Korean peninsula


THE Korean peninsula is closer to war again as a North Korean official reaffirmed on Monday Pyongyang's commitment to developing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching "all the way to the East coast of the mainland US." He said his country is currently not interested in diplomacy with ...

Entertainment »

Only Sunny Leone could dare to wish Diwali in this unique manner


Sultry actress Sunny Leone who has millions of die-hard fans around the world has come up with a new video and that too in her own style. Sunny Leone has posted a new video in which she is wishing a Happy Diwali, especially to the boys. This video is, in ...

City »

Liberation Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq speaking as Chief Guest at a discussion meeting organised by the BADC Sramik -Karmachari League on the occasion of its 56th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) at its Conference Room yesterday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news