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December 21, 2014
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editorial

‘Untreatable;’ A call for change


This, then, brings the search for a solution to the doorstep of each and every one of us as individuals. For starters, we can vote with our wallets and buy organic products, although even this advice requires a disclaimer because the use of antibiotics is so pervasive that even some organic products are not immune. (Currently, a petition is circulating online asking the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to end streptomycin use in organic apple and pear orchards, which are sprayed to prevent the spread of fire blight that can damage organic apple and pear orchards.)

Another suggestion is for more people to join the local food movement, which is driven by the desire to know what is in the food we eat and where it comes from. The idea of buying locally produced food is to learn who your farmer is and how he/she grows, raises or produces farm products. The local food movement is a grassroots movement, and many people who have joined it believe it is the answer to eating fresher, healthier food than the present industrial food system can offer.

Given the likely failure of the livestock industry to police itself, the failure (so far) of the FDA to produce meaningful, enforceable rules, and the slim prospect that Congress will be able to garner enough votes to stop the non-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in the livestock industry, where else is there to turn but to ourselves and others of like minds to build and support a grass-roots movement for change?

If you believe, as we do, that the power of the industrial food complex—Big Food and Big Ag—conspires not only against the desire of many people to eat drug-free food products, but also against the general public health of us all, then it is time to act.

We encourage you to do some research, do some soul searching, and then make up your own mind.