It is estimated that in the United States, almost 70% of all antibiotics are given to farm animals to promote growth and compensate for unsanitary conditions.
An Antibiotic is a substance that destroys or inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
In the mid 20th century farming became much more competitive. To reduce labor and production costs, livestock producers began raising large numbers of animals in close confinement. This led to the easier spread of disease among the animals, which in turn led to the widespread routine practice of adding antibiotics to animal feed. Soon disease organisms began developing resistance to some antibiotics so either more or different antibiotics had to be used.
This is an endless cycle that has other unintended and unknown effects: in this environment disease organisms may have more of a chance to develop the ability to jump from one species to another - from pigs to cows, from chickens to ducks, from pigs to humans. Antibiotics may end up in the water supply and/or soil around the farm and be ingested by non farm animals and fish; people eat meat that may contain residue of the antibiotics feed to the animals; etc.
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