Flickr photo by markhilaryThere was an op-ed by a former director of the United States Food and Drug Administration in The New York Times that reminded me why we always buy antibiotic-free milk for my baby and for ourselves.
I haven't thought about it in a long time because it's habit now and my feelings have been, Why have something added into your food that won't help you -- and could possibly hurt you?
Donald Kennedy said that and more when he made a simple argument that another way to keep down the high cost of health care would be to stop giving human antibiotics to cows. When we drink milk or eat cheese or beef from a cow that's been injected with antibiotics (usually because they're being fed corn or worse, and it makes them sick), you're becoming less resistant to that antibiotic.
We avoid using antibiotics in our household so none of us will develop resistance to strong antibiotics in case we need them, and last summer, it turned out I did need the strongest antibiotics available or I could've died.
If my baby is starting on dairy or meat contaminated with antibiotics at 1 year old, by the time he's my age if, God forbid, he was faced with a similar challenge, he might not be so lucky.
Of course, everything is a fight in our partisan Congress right now, but I hope someone takes Kennedy's call to action seriously, and we can stop worrying about the milk we put in our baby's bottles.
Do you buy antibiotic-free milk for your baby?