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Cattle and Antibiotics Editorial in Chicago Tribune today

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SRBeef

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There is an editorial article in today's Chicgo Tribune on antibiotics being used in cattle, hogs etc in conditions where it is not being used to treat an illness.

Regardless of your feelings on the issue, this information is what is on the minds of beef consumers:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/chi-0815edit1aug15,0,3366753.story

A #1 editorial page article in the Chicago Tribune means this is a topic we as beef producers need to be aware of. And this is one concern which I do not believe is going to go away.

The last paragraph in the article is very telling.

This is part of why some of my beef customers are interested in "natural" beef.

Jim
 

larryshoat

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Two million people a year get bacterial infections while they're hospitalized and 90,000 of them die from the infections, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Some 70 percent of the infections prove to be resistant to at least one drug.

This is the kind of warped logic these people are famous for. Another example of, if you tell a lie enough it becomes defacto the truth. I mean really, how many of those 90,000 deaths would have been prevented if sub-theraputic use of antibiotics were eleminated? Sounds like the blame for that should go to the hospitals.

Larry
 
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SRBeef

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larryshoat":238qx43i said:
Two million people a year get bacterial infections while they're hospitalized and 90,000 of them die from the infections, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Some 70 percent of the infections prove to be resistant to at least one drug.

This is the kind of warped logic these people are famous for. Another example of, if you tell a lie enough it becomes defacto the truth. I mean really, how many of those 90,000 deaths would have been prevented if sub-theraputic use of antibiotics were eleminated? Sounds like the blame for that should go to the hospitals.

Larry

The point is that there is a very real decline in the effectiveness in people of many formerly mainstay antibiotics. Nature has a way of building resistance. The article does not say those deaths are the result of "sub-theraputic" use of antibiotics but uses that statistic to point out resistance is there.

There are obvious examples of nature's adaptation.

If one looks at the natural development of Round-up resistant weeds, we were told this will never happen but RU resistant weeds now exist. Or the need, even requirement, to plant a certain percent of non-BT corn as a bug "refuge", there is recognition that nature builds up a resistance to constant use of the same product. Especially low level use of the same product.

We can either listen to the concerns behind this editorial or we can try to sweep it under the rug. The choice is ours. It is a fact that resistance builds in nature.

As any good retailer will tell you, however, if you are selling something, whether it is beef or shampoo, it is a good idea to listen to your customers. And even though most of us don't sell retail we still need to listen to the enduser that pays the bills.

This issue of "sub-theraputic use of anti-biotics" just gives the anti beef people another tool in their toolbox. This is just a heads-up on something that, in my opinion, is not going to go away. We can ignore it if we choose, or blame the article on the "media". But we do that at our own peril.

Jim
 

MO_cows

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Well said, SRBeef.

I also see this as an example of how the actions of corporate mega ag get unfairly reflected on the producer. If you took Mr and Mrs city dwellers out and showed them the typical cow/calf operation, it would make a favorable impression on them towards beef. Then take them on a tour of the typical feedlot and let them see pen after pen of muddy cattle and oh, by the way, we put growth hormone implants in them and give them un-needed antibiotics in their rations. Gee, no wonder they come away with a bad impression. Even if mass produced US beef is safe and tasty as any in the world, the mass production aspect of it just isn't pretty. Usually thru alarmist media reports, the consumer learns just enough to trouble them.
 

IGotMyWings

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MO_cows":8r5522ig said:
Well said, SRBeef.

I also see this as an example of how the actions of corporate mega ag get unfairly reflected on the producer. If you took Mr and Mrs city dwellers out and showed them the typical cow/calf operation, it would make a favorable impression on them towards beef. Then take them on a tour of the typical feedlot and let them see pen after pen of muddy cattle and oh, by the way, we put growth hormone implants in them and give them un-needed antibiotics in their rations. Gee, no wonder they come away with a bad impression. Even if mass produced US beef is safe and tasty as any in the world, the mass production aspect of it just isn't pretty. Usually thru alarmist media reports, the consumer learns just enough to trouble them.

I think that nature has, indeed, started catching up with science and people do build resistance to antibiotics due to the residues in meat and milk. My wife cannot take antibiotics but once in a while, after eating a hamburger or what have you, she breaks out in hives, which, oddly enough is the reaction she has to antibiotics! An unknown truth is who buys from the buyer that the farmer deals with? You take pride in having a clean, open air operation where the cattle roam and are well cared for and you get a premium for your efforts when it comes time to sell. They turn around and sell to another critter up the food chain that takes your hearty, healthy cattle, trucks them to another place where what happens to them? We don't know! They could spend days or weeks on a cramped and nasty lot being overfed antibiotics and standing in sh!t and in a short amount of time, your efforts have been wasted!
 

dun

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IGotMyWings":1pbxwqmn said:
MO_cows":1pbxwqmn said:
Well said, SRBeef.

I also see this as an example of how the actions of corporate mega ag get unfairly reflected on the producer. If you took Mr and Mrs city dwellers out and showed them the typical cow/calf operation, it would make a favorable impression on them towards beef. Then take them on a tour of the typical feedlot and let them see pen after pen of muddy cattle and oh, by the way, we put growth hormone implants in them and give them un-needed antibiotics in their rations. Gee, no wonder they come away with a bad impression. Even if mass produced US beef is safe and tasty as any in the world, the mass production aspect of it just isn't pretty. Usually thru alarmist media reports, the consumer learns just enough to trouble them.

I think that nature has, indeed, started catching up with science and people do build resistance to antibiotics due to the residues in meat and milk. My wife cannot take antibiotics but once in a while, after eating a hamburger or what have you, she breaks out in hives, which, oddly enough is the reaction she has to antibiotics! An unknown truth is who buys from the buyer that the farmer deals with? You take pride in having a clean, open air operation where the cattle roam and are well cared for and you get a premium for your efforts when it comes time to sell. They turn around and sell to another critter up the food chain that takes your hearty, healthy cattle, trucks them to another place where what happens to them? We don't know! They could spend days or weeks on a cramped and nasty lot being overfed antibiotics and standing in be nice and in a short amount of time, your efforts have been wasted!
Have you ever actually visited a feedlot and talked to the poeple there?
 

IGotMyWings

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I have, but it was back when I was in high school. It wasn't as bad as the media portrays them, but I've driven by lots that were pretty bad. The media will find the worst example of what they want to look bad, and the finest example of what they want to look good. You must keep in mind, though, that for the bad example to get the press, it must exist.

The point I was trying to make was that most of us care about the finished product, and aren't afraid to butcher one of our own animals to feed to our kids, but we're not selling that product to the final user a lot of times. We sell to a buyer who has another buyer who may take that animal that we would have gladly eaten and because of dirty, cramped conditions and prophylactic medication use, turn it into one that we'd not touch! When people see beef on the shelf, they think cow, and cow farm. They don't think feed lot, antibiotics or steroids or corporate giant! Articles like this one open eyes to things that they normally wouldn't think. The article doesn't say that some big feed lots cram cows into filthy conditions, and therefore have to feed the antibiotics to stave off the creeping crud. It says farmers feed it, and that's what makes us look bad.

The natural market is growing, and people are paying $5 - $6 a pound for hamburger that comes with the assurance that no steroids or antibiotics are present or fed routinely - or ever in some cases. If we are going to survive, we have to recognize that market. We evolve, or we die.
 

BARNSCOOP

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I have to tell a story here. I worked for an elementary school about seven years ago. We had a nurse who worked at several schools in a rotation. She had an experience were a child went into severe allergic reaction requiring an epipen(SP). Now the child was ONLY allergic to a common antibiotic. The child had not been around that antibiotic but the child ate lunch at school where shortly after eating had the reaction. Turned out they tested the hamburgers that day and they found the antibiotic present in the meat.
WOW....It is totally understandable why people want to buy meat that they can feel good about.
 
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