Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics in Animals

An outbreak in Germany this month of an antibiotic resistant E. coli strain killed 35 people and infected thousands — serving as a tragic reminder of the necessity of effective antibiotics.1

Yet antibiotics continue to decline in effectiveness — and overuse of antibiotics in the livestock industry is a major reason. Alarmingly, up to 70% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on industrial farms in healthy food animals.2
This massive overprescription is breeding new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria like E. coli and MRSA, a type of staph infection that now kills more people in the U.S. every year than AIDS.3
The trend is frightening. But last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act to phase out the rampant overuse by the livestock industry of medically important antibiotics in healthy animals. An identical measure was introduced in the House earlier this year, by Rep. Louise Slaughter, Congress' only microbiologist. Congress should pass this bill without delay.

Livestock producers use antibiotics in food and water to promote faster animal growth, what industry calls "nutritional efficiency," but the practice is also used as a way to compensate for the effects of extreme overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in factory farms.
Despite the mounting examples of the dangers of the overuse of antibiotic in the mass-production of poultry, hogs, and livestock, industry groups like the National Pork Producers Council have successfully fought regulation for years.
The FDA has largely failed to stand up to industry. Last year the FDA issued a "draft guidance," a non-binding set of guidelines, for the feeding of antibiotics to food animals. Despite hearing from tens of thousands of CREDO members and other food safety groups, FDA has failed to finalize the guidance to date, let alone issue actual regulations to stop this dangerous practice.
It's up to congress to take action, and halt the overuse of antibiotics in food that is both endangering human life, and allowing industry to maintain cruel conditions for animals.
Thank you for fighting for safe and healthy food.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Scientists fear the over-use of antibiotics in medicine and farming may have led to the deadly E.coli outbreak," The Daily Mail, June 7, 2011.
2. "
Most U.S. Antibiotics Fed to Healthy Livestock," Scientific American, January 10, 2001
3. "
When Food Kills," New York Times, June 11, 2011

1 comment:

  1. The pork industry defends horrendous cruelty to animals -- factory farmers keep breeding pigs locked in two-foot-wide crates where the pigs can’t even turn around for nearly their entire lives. Eight states have passed laws against this type of animal abuse, yet groups like the National Pork Producers Council still support it.

    More info at this link:


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