This morning, the BBC reported that viruses of the modern world are getting antibiotic resistance. As Professor Dame Sally Davies puts it, “The danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics should be ranked along with terrorism on a list of threats to the nation (UK)”.
One factor of this is the fact that farm animals, previously have been given low doseage of antibodies as a prevention means. This is especially important as animals such as chickens
are kept in confined spaces in order to keep up the production. This prevention means allows the farmer to breed chickens in large numbers and don’t lose them to viral infections. This is part is driven by the consumer demands to drive the price down. The farmers are only earning the minimal per bird sold and has to churn out as many chickens as they can afford. Adding low doseage of antibodies are but a means to ensure that their income is not wiped out by an invisible raider.
Be that may, the fruit sowed now is that viruses, passing from animals to humans and back, have become so used to these antibodies that they have developed natural immunity. As a result, “simple illness” such as flu and infection from operations will kill us in the near future as we have no antibiotic to be used to treat them.
This, in my opinion, is yet another cost of our consumerism. As we enjoy our KFCs and cheap sweat shirts, please remember that for each luxury we enjoy, a cost is incurred somewhere out there.