Thank you for the front-page article (“Foster Farms’ antibiotic use gains scrutiny,” Sept. 13) scrutinizing Foster Farm’s use of antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning that resistant bacteria (such as salmonella) from the use of antibiotics in animals may be transmitted to humans through the foods we eat. In addition to appropriate prescribing of antibiotics to humans, antibiotics must also be used judiciously in animals – because both uses contribute to the development and spread of bacteria that are stronger than the antibiotics we have to treat them.
Antibiotics are precious resources that must be conserved so that they continue to be useful in treating the sickest human patients. If we continue to use antibiotics when they are not needed (for colds, flu or simply promoting growth in animals), we will soon be faced with the scary scenario where life-saving antibiotics are no longer effective at all.
Matthew Haskett, RN, Turlock