A new study in Environmental Health Perspectives has confirmed what experts have long suspected; that the widespread use of antibiotics on cow and chicken farms has increased the risk of bacteria mutating and developing resistance to drugs. Researchers tested 20 chicken farms, half organic and half conventional, for microbes, and found that the organic farms had a much lower incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which increase the dangers of food poisoning. A separate study in Foodborne Pathogens and Diseases also found that packaged organic chicken meat in stores has only one-seventh the incidence of salmonella as conventional chicken. Although much of the US meat industry continues to deny this correlation, most European nations have already banned the use of antibiotics for non-therapeutic purposes in livestock.
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