If you love your tandoori chicken or your chicken cordon bleu, then this is a must read for you!
Poultry is being fed with antibiotics which is good for none, new study reports tell us. You may wonder how it is done. It is easy to understand. Poultry is injected with antibiotic drugs recklessly on a very large scale. When you eat these poultry products, you become resistant to the same antibiotic drugs and become prone to ailments that are otherwise easily curable. It is an alarming situation where your health is jeopardized.
Let us get to the economics of it! Why are antibiotic drugs used in the first place?
Poultry is one of the fastest growing industries in India. Out of entire meat consumption in India, 50 % of it comes from poultry! You can imagine how much it is in demand. If poultry is bred in the safe and traditional way, then there will be a yawning gap between its demand and supply. The supply of poultry will not be able to catch up with its demand. So, a quickie solution is devised. The antibiotics are fed to the young chicken to make them grow faster and gain more weight than otherwise. This makes the producers meet the demand for poultry and beat the competitors from the international market. No wonder this industry is growing fast at a rate of 8-10% per annum.
Now let us get to the science of it!
On a normal basis, chicken are fed or injected with the antibiotics to prevent them from catching as well as from spreading any infections. But these drugs are pumped into them for days on end without any apparent infection. Overtime, it causes resistant strains of bacteria to develop in chicken.
These bacteria are passed on to humans through direct exposure, food or environment. This makes you turn into ABR or antibiotic resistant! This renders antibiotic drugs useless when you catch some infection. For example, fluoroquinolone is pumped into chicken for faster growth. Now treating grave diseases like pneumonia, sepsis and tuberculosis (TB) with the same drug has become difficult. This is because disease causing microbes have become resistant to fluoroquinolone.
Even a single bite can hurt!
This is not all, experts say. The amount of chicken you consume will not make any difference to the situation. Even small bites and less frequency of poultry consumption can make you ABR.
Know the common drugs you may potentially be resistant to:
Oxytetracycline: It is a broad spectrum drug and it is used to treat the following ailments-urinary tract infections, eye infections like conjunctivitis, lung infections like pneumonia, whooping cough or bronchitis, skin infections like acne, sexually transmitted diseases, plague, cholera, tetanus and others.
Doxycycline: It is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections like acne, pneumonia, anthrax, urinary and skin infections. It also prevents malaria.
Enrofloxacin: It is commonly used to treat skin infections in animals.
Neomycin: It is used to treat superficial infections in humans.
Ciprofloxacin: It is administered for treating acute sinusitis, bone and joint infections, diarrhea, anthrax infection, lower respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, urethral and cervical infections, cystic fibrosis and cholera.
What can you do about it?
There is apparently no escape from this rampant malpractice. Government has no data on the use of antibiotics in our country and therefore it is not able to curb it. Centre for Science and Environment or CSE has asked the government to implement a set of regulations to limit the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry. From your side it is good to be well informed about this menace. Precaution is the best cure! Always ask your chicken vendor repeatedly if there are antibiotics in the chicken or not. See the CSE findings here.
Do you love chicken? What have you got to say on this?