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article imageConcerns expressed over antibiotic resistance in agriculture

By Tim Sandle     Oct 6, 2013 in Environment
Research shows that antibiotic resistance is a natural occurrence in our soils. Scientists now consider this to be an issue which requires exploring further.
The overuse of antibiotics for minor medical conditions (as reported by Digital Journal yesterday) is not the only concern in relation to the rise of antibiotic resistant microbes. Antibiotic resistance is also occurring in fields. Here, bacteria and fungi living in soils compete for few food resources; over a long period time, some bacteria and fungi develop the ability to produce antibiotic chemicals in order to kill their competition. Because they produce these antibiotics, they are naturally immune to the effects of their own excretions. This means that antibiotic resistant bacteria could potentially enter the food chain.
To compound this, agriculture has been blamed for making this worse by using concentrated feed operations that leak antibiotics into surrounding waterways.
In light of this important issue, Jean McLain, PhD, will present "Antibiotic Resistance in Agricultural Environments: A Call to Action," on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. he presentation is part of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America Annual Meetings, Nov. 3-7 in Tampa, Florida.
McLain's talk will emphasize the need for considering natural, background resistance in soils in any scientific study examining the effects of antibiotics on the environment.
More about Antibiotics, Antibiotic resistance, Animals, Agriculture
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