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FOOD: How Safe?


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Tending the Flock

Tending the Flock
Photograph by Jim Richardson

A sea of feathers parts for Eric Anderson, who checks the general health of an animal at his farm near Fayetteville, Arkansas. Anderson keeps antibiotic use to a minimum on the 900,000 chickens he raises each year. Public health officials increasingly worry that the livestock industry's use of antibiotics—often the same ones as are used in human medicine—may be creating drug-resistant strains of bacteria that can pass from animal to consumer. Physicians are now reporting more cases of foodborne illnesses for which the commonly prescribed medicines no longer work.



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