Your Food: Antibiotic use in Canada and its implications for human health

Global News

Canadian livestock consume more than 1.6 million kilograms of antibiotics every year, according to the Canadian Animal Health Institute. But what are the effects of those antibiotics on the human body? Public health experts say the use of antimicrobials in food animals could have serious implications on our overall health and future resistance to infectious disease.

The long-term effects of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance on the human body are drastically under-studied both in Canada and worldwide. Only in the past decade have researchers begun looking at the effects antibiotics and antibiotic-resistance bugs have on the human “microbiome.”

The microbiome is a universe of bacteria and other tiny organisms that live in and on us. This complex and fragile system is essential to human health; we’re still learning what effect antibiotics have on it.

READ MORE: Medicating meat – What’s Canada’s plan for animal antibiotics?

“We need these microbes to help us digest food, to protect…

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