Antibiotic use on farms is a major cause of human drug resistance. Yet slick social media campaigns – funded by the multi-billion-dollar industry – aim to muddy the waters
- How much does big pharma make from animal antibiotics?
- Can China’s farmers kick their antibiotic habit?
A Facebook ad entitled “How to survive as a working mom” depicts a stressed woman with a baby on her lap and a phone under one ear. “Breathe,” the advert says. “Pour a glass of wine (if that’s your thing). Prepare your family the chicken. Whether the label says ‘no antibiotics’ or not, the meat and milk you buy is free of harmful residues from antibiotics.”
The Enough Movement – the “global community” behind this advert – promises to tell you the truth about food. But it’s a PR campaign funded by Elanco, a multinational animal drugs company that sells antibiotics for use on livestock. Elanco operates in more than 70 countries and in 2015 accounted for 13% of the veterinary pharmaceuticals market. A subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company, last year it was valued at $14bn-$16bn (£10.5bn-£12bn).
They’re trying to brush us off like we’re hysterical women who need a pat on the head and a glass of wine to calm down.
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