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Food Safety and the FDA

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According to the editors of Scientific American in the April 2009 issue, “the security of our food supply is at risk—in ways more noxious than anyone had feared.” The article referred to the FDA’s action in 2008 regarding the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animal production.

A commission of high-profile scientists, farmers, doctors, and vets in April 2008 recommended that the FDA phase out antibiotics in farm animals used non-therapeutically. Just 5 days before the ban was set to take effect, the FDA reversed its position. According to Scientific American, the farm lobby is thought to have played a role in the FDA’s action. Stuart Levy, MD, Tufts University educator and president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, has worked tirelessly to educate physicians and consumers that antibiotics have risks as well as benefits, and that the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in farm animals has adverse consequences on human health.

As integrative physicians have proved in their clinical practices for decades, a patient’s diet can affect how genes express themselves. Nutrition can be used preventively as well as therapeutically—or, in the words of Scientific American, “As the world is quickly learning, a civilization can only be as healthy as its food supply.”

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