Remember penicillin? If you’re old enough to remember that, you’re not young. The days are long gone when that wonder drug could cure diseases. Because bacteria are clever. Hit them with a chemical cosh and they evolve to resist it.
New antibiotics get invented in labs. But scientists are not magicians. After a while, there aren’t so many new antibiotics that can be invented. It doesn’t help that universities, where so much science goes on, are strapped for cash in these hard economic times.
So resistance to antibiotics is a growing problem. It’s about misuse in human medicine and it’s about misuse in farming. Many livestock diets routinely include antibiotics because they make the animals stay healthier and grow faster.
Here’s what The Pig Site says about farming’s impact on antibiotic resistance. I like the overall conclusion there: reduce stocking densities, then your animals won’t get so many infections. That does mean we’ll need to pay more for our meat. Which is more important? Cheap bacon sandwiches, or drugs that work? I know which I prefer. Anyway, when I eat bacon I want to know that the pig lived a decent life.