Pork products from Brazil were found to have antibiotic-resistant bacteria according to a study funded by World Animal Protection, an animal rights group. The finding gives credence to the belief that there is unregulated antibiotic use by meat-producing companies and that they ply the livestock with antimicrobial medicines.
According to Reuters, meat from four countries was tested in the study. A 100 meat samples from companies such as Carrefour, GPA and Walmart were studied. And in all the samples, the tests found the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The researchers who spoke to Reuters that the study was of importance, since addressing antimicrobial resistance is one of the prime priorities of the World Health Organization.
While it’s a pressing problem, the researchers stress that there’s no need for panic. Consuming this tainted meat may not cause death or diseases. However, since antibiotics are overused in people and livestock, it could lead to treatment resistance if there’s an infection. What is Antibiotic Resistance and How You Can Prevent It
WAP says that antibiotics are commonly used to treat illnesses in animals and to prevent the stress caused to them due to confinement. BMC Veterinary Research says that there are at least two million strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which leads to numerous deaths.
The findings don’t bode well since Brazil is the fourth largest exporter of pork. Pork farmers, however, insist that pork production isn’t possible with some amount of antibiotic use since the medicines are needed to prevent infections in livestock.
Studies on the use of antibiotics in livestock says that the practice is a wide-spread problem, which has been poorly characterised. Existing studies on the topic are inconclusive, since they could neither find health risks to human health nor benefits to animal production.