Living Longer - Antibiotics

Grant Sparks (
Sat, 2 May 1998 07:46:00 +1000

I've been thinking about the issue of antibiotic resistance and it occurred to
me that the best strategy for the human race would be;

1) Tight control on the use of antibiotics in animals.
2) A free hand for geneticists who want to breed resistance into animals - good
luck to them
3) Use the best bits from what we learn by messing with the animals DNA into

The above strategy maximises returns for humans. My reasoning is that while we
may be able to 'win' this war with ever more expensive and complex antibiotics,
we'll never be able to shift lots of the stuff to poor people like we can with
the older antibiotics. We have got to stop using antibiotics in animals
otherwise it's *our* biodiversity that is at risk.

If we banned the use of antibiotics in animals, can you imagine how much money
would immediately shift to genetic research ? Farmers cannot produce food at
modern levels of productivity without antibiotics. If their only option was
breeding (with a helping hand from Dr. DNA) then you can be sure that
capitalism will 'do it's thing' for us here.

Grant Sparks