Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Remove meat from diet

Last month, President Barack Obama directed federal agencies to serve antibiotic-free meat and poultry in government cafeterias.

The FDA will require animal producers to obtain authorization from licensed veterinarians to use drugs to treat a specific disease, rather than just to promote rapid growth, as is current practice.

As much as 80 percent of all U.S. antibiotics are used in animal agriculture.

The move come amid growing concern about the link between routine antibiotic use in animal agriculture and human infections by bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics because of excessive use.

The CDC estimates that antibiotic resistance causes 2 million illnesses a year in the U.S. and 23,000 deaths. It also adds $20 billion a year in health care costs and $35 billion in lost productivity.

And we thought animal products were just linked to heart disease, cancer and stroke.

While government agencies reduce antibiotics in animal products, the rest of us can do better immediately with wholesome vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains and a rich variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, milks and ice creams available in every supermarket. These foods contain all the nutrients we require, without the deadly pathogens, antibiotics, carcinogens, cholesterol and saturated fats.

Carmine Damiano

State College