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Antibiotics were once considered a medical revolution, but today they're largely taken for granted. That's especially the case in developed countries, where illnesses like tuberculosis are no longer a serious threat. But over time, bacteria have evolved to become resistant to antibiotics, and our own food sources are contributing to the problem.
To make matters worse, the quantity of antibiotics used in animals has increased threefold since 2011—from 3.3 million kilograms to 9.5 million kilograms. That number also includes antibiotics that aren't medically important, but the statistic is still alarming.
Mother Jones notes that the FDA has been pressuring the meat industry to rely less on antibiotics, as the World Health Organization and others have cited it as a contributing factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Considering the drastic increase, it seems the administration's methods aren't working.
If you want to take matters into your own hands, there are some meat producers who raise cattle (and other animals) without antibiotics. Even some fast food chains are taking action. NPR recently reported that Subway is the latest chain to pledge to stop selling antibiotic-fed meat. It joins Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Panera Bread.
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