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Meat-eaters more susceptible to super bugs after banned antibiotic found in animal feed

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People who regularly eat chicken and other meat are unwittingly making themselves more susceptible to antibiotic-resistant ‘super bugs’. Poultry farmers are illegally using a broad-spectrum antibiotic in animal feeds that was banned for agricultural use in 2005.
Only a small fraction of the poultry makes its way onto the shelves – the majority is used in feeds for other animals, such as pigs and cattle, which throws open the possibility that all meat eaters may be consuming the antibiotic.
The antibiotic, fluoroquinolone, was banned because its over-use was increasing the possibility of a resistant super bug – and yet it was found in eight of 12 samples of animal feed tested by officials.
Although the discovery took place in the US, there is every possibility that poultry farmers and feed manufacturers are using the antibiotic globally.
Fluoroquinolone is an important antibiotic because it is in the first-line treatment for serious bacterial infections.
(Source: Environmental Science & Technology, 2012; 46: 3795-802).

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