Use of antibiotics in livestock to be regulated

KOREA - The rampant use of antibiotics here has long posed a threat to people’s health. According to report by World Health Organization (WHO), Koreans have the highest resistance to penicillin, a traditional antibiotic. It is welcoming to hear that the government is pushing to enact a law on foodstuff safety under which the use of antibiotics on poultry, livestock and fisheries farming can be regulated toward the end of this year.
calendar icon 5 August 2006
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When it comes to the use of antibiotics on chickens, cattle and fish, unlimited amounts of antibiotics have been used with no restraint at all. The amounts of antibiotics being used on cattle or fish are said to be the largest in the world. A chilling fact is that some 916 grams of antibiotics are used for the production of one ton of meat on average here, about 30 times the amount used in advanced nations, according to concerned authorities.

Substantial amounts of antibiotics used on animals are passed to human beings. Apparently owing to the rampant use of antibiotics, the number of people suffering from tuberculosis (TB) or other infectious diseases is increasing lately. A startling fact is that the diseases that used to be easily controlled with standard drugs are now getting difficult to treat because the microbes causing the diseases have developed a resistance to these drugs. Treating drug-resistant diseases is far more difficult than treating normal ones.

People should realize that those exposed to unregulated use of antibiotics might have to pay a high price someday. Though belated, the introduction of the law aimed at controlling the use of antibiotics on chicken, cattle and fish, are relevant. Korea is said to be the only country among the OECD member nations to be able to use antibiotics on animals without a veterinarian’s prescription.

Source: The Korean Times
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