The popular news program has done this type of story before. There is a growth of superbugs among humans that cannot be treated with hospital antibiotics, because the bacteria are resistant to a growing number of antibiotic drugs. This has led to suspicion and increased research that the growth of antibiotic use on livestock operations has led to more resistance.

The recent Frontline program titled “The Trouble with Antibiotics” reviewed the history of the issue, going back several decades to federal efforts seeking greater information on antimicrobial usage. Those efforts stalled when ag groups raised concerns of excessive oversight. The same issue lingers today as direct links of antibiotic usage to human drug resistance are still lacking.

But the new research is starting to build greater concern. The new program added some new details and more input from epidemiologists from within agriculture. Guy Loneragan of Texas Tech University, and Morgan Scott of Texas A&M University, are interviewed about their data showing use of tetracycline (considered a less useful human form of antibiotic) on feedlot livestock has shown to increase resistance to cephalosporins, a critical antibiotic to human health.

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has its own portal for answering public questions on the use of antibiotics, including how they’re used for health and growth and pre-emptive treatment.

If you haven't been asked this question by consumers in the past, be fully prepared to know some answers in the future. end mark