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We Do Not Want to Know About Antibiotics in Food

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Thomas Pynchon

When Congress wants an answer to a question, they form a committee and then conduct a hearing. When congress wants to launch a major investigation, they call upon the Government Accounting Office (GAO). America's GAO is similar in nature to Interpol. Their investigative powers and resources are second to none.

Meat and dairy producers are quietly celebrating a recent GAO conclusion:

"The data is insufficient to prove antibiotic resistance link"

In their report, released on September 15th, 2011, GAO noted that both the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have worked closely together to find alternatives to antibiotic use on farmed animals.

Has there ever been a bigger lie?

How has GAO reached such a conclusion? Because there really is no data. There really are no studies.

Notmilk has been asking for such studies for more than a decade. Notmilk has lobbied members of congress and members of both HHS and USDA and they just do not want to deal with the evidence.

In fact, on February 27, 2002, Notmilk reported that the most common antibiotic residue found in slaughtered cows is LS-50, an antibiotic made up of two other antibiotics, Lincomycin and Spectinomycin.

It is illegal to use LS-50 on dairy cows although dairy farmers use LS-50 to treat a condition called footwarts.

The category of mycins that include LS-50 carry serious warnings regarding their use.

FDA works with a manual called the "Green Book."

Remembering that LS-50 is composed of Lincomycin and Spectinomycin, I first looked up the files on every single variation of Lincomycin approved by the FDA. There are actually 49 different antibiotic drugs permitted for animal use. Without exception, each and every one of those drugs has been approved for either chickens or swine weighing under 250 pounds. None have been approved for lactating dairy cows.

Here is the warning for use of LS-50, as written in FDA's Green Book:

"Species: chicken up to seven days old. Limitations: can be used in cattle, calves excluding veal calves, dairy cows excluding female breeding age animals. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Use in this class of cattle may cause residues in milk. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian."

I personally gave this information to dozens of USDA and FDA investigators nearly ten years ago. Nothing has been done and the betrayal of American consumers continues.

Many Notmilk readers wonder why there is sometimes a hint of anger to my tone. The anger is for what government regulators continue to allow our children to be exposed to.

"Answers are not obtained by putting the wrong - question and thereby begging the real one." Felix Frankfurter

Robert Cohen

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