Animal Agriculture and Antibiotic Resistant Disease
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What social, economic, or political factors affect the way antibiotic use is regulated in the US? In the United States, farmers feed their animals antibiotics at low doses to prevent disease and promote their growth. Because the low doses do not kill all the bacteria, the bacteria that survive will then reproduce, and the strain eventually becomes resistant. These antibiotic resistant diseases that emerge from farms pose a health problem to the people who work with these animals and the people who consume them, as well as to wild animals that live nearby. Byproducts of animal farming, such as manure or runoff from farms, can carry with it antibiotic resistant diseases that can change the microbial dynamics of an ecosystem. However, the interests of pharmaceutical companies and farmers, especially large monopolizing farm corporations, means the practice of recklessly using antibiotics for non medical purposes has continued.