GFAR blog

The microbes are coming: it’s time to act!


Don’t you think it is amazing that joint replacement operations are possible? Or that pneumonia and tuberculosis are not a death-warrant diagnosis? Anyone who has ever had a bad gastro-intestinal infection would agree: the discovery of antibiotics is one of the most extraordinary achievements in medical science.

Antibiotics or, to be more scientifically precise, antimicrobials, are used to treat infectious diseases caused by bacteria ,for most surgical interventions, as well as in the treatment of cancer and HIV. Antibiotics are powerful drugs, but become ineffective when used in incorrect doses or for insufficient duration or too often, accelerating the resistance of bacteria. So, basically the more antibiotics we use, the higher the risk they are going to stop working.

What does this have to do with food? Using antibiotics in livestock production can eliminate the spread of bacteria in crowded industrial animal farms. Antibiotics in small doses are routinely used to enhance growth of farm animals.  We still don’t really know how exactly this works, but we are doing it.

So, little by little, through milk, cheese and meat as well as through waste from livestock farms, antibiotics get into our food chain, hastening the growth of resistant bacteria. That’s why cramming our food with pharma can send our healthcare back to the Dark Ages.

Read the full post on the CFS blog here.


Blogpost by Ekaterina Bessonova, #CFS43 Social Reporter – ekaterina.bessonova(at) 

Photo credit:  Anne Marie Peterson on Flickr

This post is part of the live coverage during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a project GFAR is running in collaboration with CFS. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only. 

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