Last month the Poultry Site web site had an article about research by a team of Johns Hopkins researchers on antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in chicken purchased in Baltimore, MD supermarkets. They purchased chickens in the supermarkets from five different poultry companies for 20 weeks in 2004 and for 15 weeks in 2006. In both 2004 and 2006 they found that Campylobacter strains of bacteria from conventionally produced chicken were more likely to be resistant to the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics than antibiotic-free chicken. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are used by doctors to treat food poisoning caused by Campylobacter. Poultry producers had been using fluoroquinolones to treat respiratory disease in their chickens but claimed that they had stopped using it in 2002 three years before it was banned by the FDA in 2005. Despite the fluoroquinolone no longer being used to treat the chickens, the proportion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the conventionally produced chicken showed no significant change between 2004 and 2006 indicating that the amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was not decreasing in chicken from these producers.
One sentence in the report was particularly eye opening. It said that the authors were not able to verify that the producers had voluntarily stopped using the fluoroquinolone antibiotics in 2002, because poultry producers are not required to report their use of drugs in food animals to regulatory agencies!!! Who knows what drugs the big poultry producers are using? It is a secret that only they know. This is another reason why organically raised chickens, turkeys, and eggs are a better choice than conventionally produced poultry and eggs. To read more … www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/12297/drugresistant-campylobacter-persists-in-poultry