Livestock farms have been the punching bag for antibiotic resistance in humans. Not so fast. A new study takes the heat off of meat producers.
Farmers give these drugs to chickens, swine and beef cattle, either to keep the animals healthy or to make them grow faster. Critics say it's contributing to an epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria, not just on the farm, but among people, too.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report on that epidemic. For the first time, the agency ranked the threats posed by different drug-resistant microbes, listing them as "urgent," "serious," and "concerning."
And where in this ranking did farm-related antibiotic resistance fall? Not at the top, certainly. According to the CDC, the most urgent threats are posed by antibiotic-resistant infections that have emerged in hospitals, as a result of heavy antibiotic use there.
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