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Weight Promoting Alternative to Antibiotics a Much-Needed Solution for Meat Producers

By   /  September 12, 2016  /  5 Comments

An FDA directive that goes into effect January 1, 2017 will prohibit cattle feeders in the U.S. from adding low-grade doses of antibiotics as a regular part of their feeding program. Here’s why antibiotics have been fed in the past and thoughts about what the future holds.

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Whenever I talk to anyone who works in the animal health industry who says that they are working on
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  • Published: 5 years ago on September 12, 2016
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  • Last Modified: September 12, 2016 @ 11:58 am
  • Filed Under: Money Matters

About the author

Jim Hardin is Senior Investment Manager at AVAC Ltd., the parent company of Verdex Capital. Jim joined AVAC as an investment manager in 2006. Prior to joining AVAC, Jim spent over 13 years in academics and the biotechnology industry. Jim has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Gastrointestinal Physiology, and brings a broad background in life sciences to the organization. He has published over 100 patents, book chapters, full articles, and abstracts in the area of gastrointestinal physiology and animal models of infectious disease, thus lending an extensive background in life sciences. Jim’s focus areas include biotechnology, medical devices, and agricultural technology.


  1. Geralyn Devereaux says:

    This has been percolating in my mind during my evening chores! ~~ Antibiotics have been added to animal feed in subclinical doses, to promote weight gain in livestock. By sub-clinical I mean that the doses given are not effective in managing disease. This practice was primarily used in cattle, but also in hog and poultry.~~ But what if those subclinical doses that we eat when partaking of antibiotic fed animal flesh are also making US fatten up? Just a thought! aieee!!

  2. Jess Jackson Jr says:

    I remember a conversation with a researcher at Utah State University who told my group that feeding a high tannin diet to hogs (acorns) prolonged shelf life of the meat by two weeks. Since tannins are anti-bacterial there may an option for these natural compounds or others. Don’t know if it affects taste etc.

    • Geralyn Devereaux says:

      After a hospital visit for a bad West Nile infection I suddenly started to get violently ill when ever I ate meat. I previously was following a low carb/ higher protein diet including all the eggs, pork and beef I desired. As I learned a whole new way of eating I researched and found that the antibiotic I was given in hospital (CIPRO) is related to the family of antibiotic growth stimulators commonly found in grocery store meats. They both contain fluoroquinolones. My gut health was destroyed and lots of tendons and connective tissue was affected for some years. I came across a rant page on the fluoroquinolone issue and thought these poor folks sounded NUTS until I read one sentence “If you have had this issue you may also find you can no longer eat meat, milk or eggs from the grocery store.” WHA??!! That was why I was doing the research! Could my relief be as simple as paying the higher price for organic antibiotic-free meats/eggs? Turns out it was! Since my pain and distress would start about an hour or so after eating I finally saw that residual SOMETHING in the meat/eggs/milk was causing my gut immune reaction and meat/eggs/milk w/o antibiotics did not cause it. Years have gone by and now I can dabble in the occasional restaurant fare w/o distress but at home we ONLY partake of organic antibiotic free meats, milks and eggs. It is true ORGANIC has less meaning these days but is still useful, better now are holistic grass farmers and pastured animals. MHO based on real life events…

  3. Tim says:

    There are some potentially misleading statements in this article. While it is technically true that monensin is an antibiotic, it’s use is unaffected by the FDA’s rule. Here is a link that explains ionophore use in cattle. https://www.faithfamilyandbeef.com/2015/11/5-things-you-should-know-about-ionophores.html
    I also take exception to the statement that grass-fed or free-range cattle are raised in better conditions than conventionally raised beef. Also, there are multiple beef programs that guarantee that their cattle have never had any antibiotics that are not organic. Just my two cents…

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