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Awareness Towards Drugs in Livestock

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Edited by Shelby Kesgard, Tuesday, 19 January 2016, 12:12 PM

           After looking into the use of antibiotics on animals in factory farms from multiple sources, we have come to the conclusion that the American population should be aware of what is really inside what they are consuming. Most products containing meat come from factory farm animals, who live their whole lives in incredibly unhealthy, inhumane conditions. The farms, in turn, have been injecting these animals with multiple antibiotics. These drugs are meant to kill off the weak bacteria gained from their living conditions, and thus create antibiotic-resistant cells known as “super bugs”. These super bugs make the consumers more resistant to some vital medications needed for the treatment of tuberculosis, gonorrhea, staph infections, and other life threatening diseases, causing the deaths of around 23,000, according to the CDC (https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issues/feb2014/featural). The bugs that have been created as a result of the antibiotic-injected animals have contaminated food, water, and even the air, as well. We want to stop people from consuming animal products that have been previously injected with antibiotics to improve the health of the population.

            To create better awareness of this problem, we believe a policy needs to be put into place, which requires businesses to state whether the animal products used had been given antibiotics, in ways such as labels or disclaimers on menus. It will be required for companies to pay for their own labeling as well. This way, businesses will be discouraged from selling foods with antibiotics in them. If businesses do not label their products accordingly, they will be fined $5000 for the first offense, and the cost will be progressively doubled as the offenses increase. The fine a business is given is not determined by their size but rather by how often the policy is ignored. Therefore, a small business has the capability of being fined the same amount or even more than a larger one.     

            We hope, that with our policy, people will have the opportunity to know exactly what they are eating, and why these products are so destructive to their health.  With this new knowledge available to the public about the products they buy, more consumers will be encouraged to purchase antibiotic free items. This is because it is a healthier and  safer option for everyone. Our medications will have more of an effect on us, and fewer antibiotics will be wasted on animals that do not need them. Rivals would be factory farmers and ranchers who are the ones injecting their livestock. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/.html). The supporters would be the ones who prefer safer foods, animal protection organizations such as the Human Farming Organization, and any others who would rather eat antibiotic free foods, (http://www.hfa.org)

             If our policy is effective, we expect the health of the overall American population to increase. Success can be measured by the customer's feedback on our policy. Every grocery store and restaurant selling antibiotic injected foods will have a chart customers can use to check off, if they approve of our policy. The companies will then send us their recorded information, which will let us know if our policy was effective. Disadvantages could be that our policy makes animal products more expensive due to customer's higher demand of antibiotic free foods.  An effective citizen would acknowledge the labeling on the animal products they purchase and bring awareness to others about antibiotic free foods. They also would use the chart, which would be displayed near animal products being sold, to check off whether or not they approve of the new labeling our policy requires.  

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