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Banned Antibiotics Found in Poultry

Researchers find evidence of illegal use of antibiotics in poultry products.

By | April 6, 2012

image: Banned Antibiotics Found in Poultry Wikimedia Commons, Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, FIR0002/FLAGSTAFFOTOS

Fluoroquinolones—a class of broad spectrum antibiotics that was banned from use in US poultry production by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2005—may still be in use illegally, according to a study published March 21 in Environmental Science & Technology. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Arizona State University found residues of the drugs in 8 of 12 samples of feather meal, a common byproduct of the poultry processing industry. The findings suggest that the animals were given fluoroquinolones prior to their slaughter and sale.

“The discovery of certain antibiotics in feather meal strongly suggests the continued use of these drugs, despite the ban put in place in 2005 by the FDA,” lead author David Love, a microbiologist with Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, said in a press release. “The public health community has long been frustrated with the unwillingness of FDA to effectively address what antibiotics are fed to food animals.”

Antibiotic use in farmed animals is a concern because it may be fueling drug resistance to human infectious diseases. “Particularly worrisome is the continued use in animals of antibiotics that are close structural relatives of those that are used in human medicine,” wrote Bonnie M. Marshall and Stuart B. Levy of Tufts University in this month’s Critic At Large column. “It is feared that, in time, these drugs will lose potency as bacteria express ‘cross-resistance’ to the related drugs.”

Indeed, the current findings that fluoroquinolones may still be in use could explain the trends of fluoroquinolone resistance among Campylobacter bacteria. “In recent years, we’ve seen the rate of fluoroquinolone resistance slow, but not drop,” study co-author Keeve Nachman, also at the Center for a Livable Future, said in the press release. “With such a ban, you would expect a decline in resistance to these drugs” that is much greater, he said.

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Avatar of: rokimoto

rokimoto

Posts: 2

April 6, 2012

I read the press release and they also found caffeine and acetaminophen.  As far as I know these are not used in poultry.  I could find no studies where you could claim that there was any use for these chemicals in poultry.  A couple of papers on caffeine noted negative effects on development of chick embryos.  This looks like some type of contamination of samples or something.

Avatar of: Barb/CO

Barb/CO

Posts: 9

April 6, 2012

Go vegetarian. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 6, 2012

I read the press release and they also found caffeine and acetaminophen.  As far as I know these are not used in poultry.  I could find no studies where you could claim that there was any use for these chemicals in poultry.  A couple of papers on caffeine noted negative effects on development of chick embryos.  This looks like some type of contamination of samples or something.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 6, 2012

Go vegetarian. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 8, 2012

This would be sort of like the 'downer cows' here is Alberta , Canada. The government made it law you have to report downer cows. Surprisingly , paradoxically , Alberta never had no downer cows. The lack of downer cows was so obvious that the law got involved and lo and behold the fact was the cow producers weren't reporting their downer cows. The ONLY way this is going to stop is if those who ARE caught are charged with criminal conspiracy to violate federal public health standards , with a good lengthy jailterm to follow with contingency never to be allowed in food production or manufacture ever again. THAT or the Chinese method. Give them a choice.

Avatar of: Tom Hennessy

Tom Hennessy

Posts: 1457

April 8, 2012

This would be sort of like the 'downer cows' here is Alberta , Canada. The government made it law you have to report downer cows. Surprisingly , paradoxically , Alberta never had no downer cows. The lack of downer cows was so obvious that the law got involved and lo and behold the fact was the cow producers weren't reporting their downer cows. The ONLY way this is going to stop is if those who ARE caught are charged with criminal conspiracy to violate federal public health standards , with a good lengthy jailterm to follow with contingency never to be allowed in food production or manufacture ever again. THAT or the Chinese method. Give them a choice.

April 9, 2012

As biologist, I think, that caffeine and acetaminophen can also work for meat producers. Caffeine can help to create stressful condition and increase muscle weight; acetaminophen will alleviate symptoms of animal is sick already. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 9, 2012

As biologist, I think, that caffeine and acetaminophen can also work for meat producers. Caffeine can help to create stressful condition and increase muscle weight; acetaminophen will alleviate symptoms of animal is sick already. 

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