Sustainability Series Event. March 11, 2015
Dr. Martin Blaser, an infectious disease specialist and author of Missing Microbes – How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, (an informative and fascinating book!) spoke of our overreliance on both antibiotics and Cesarean sections. Both are threatening the extinction of our irreplacable microbes and leading to severe health consequences. Breastfeeding makes a huge difference for replacing microbes lost by C-section. In mother’s milk some compounds like urea are for the “good” bacteria. Formulas do not have urea. To change antibiotic use we have to change both doctors’ over-diagnosis and patients’ insistence for antibiotics when not needed. France initiated the “Antibiotics are Not Automatic” campaign to change the mindset of both healthcare providers and parents. They cut use of antibiotics by 26%. Sweden uses 40% less antibiotics than the United States. When questioned, Dr. Blaser said the benefit of vaccines far outweighs the dangers. In the 1900s, kids died from whooping cough and measles, but not anymore.
Lana Guardo, NYC Organizer for Food and Water Watch discussed the dangers of antibiotic resistant bacteria, how factory farms (CAFOs) are making our medicines less effective, and the necessary steps New Yorkers can take to protect themselves from these kinds of incurable infections, through the passing of a local resolution in City Council. www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/factoryfarms/antibiotics/