Is our meat floxed? Is it full of fluoroquinolone antibiotics?
Honestly, it’s hard to know. On one hand, fluoroquinolone use was banned in poultry in 2005. However….
“The study, conducted by the Bloomberg School’s Center for a Livable Future and Arizona State’s Biodesign Institute, looked for drugs and other residues in feather meal, a common additive to chicken, swine, cattle and fish feed. The most important drugs found in the study were fluoroquinolones — broad spectrum antibiotics used to treat serious bacterial infections in people, particularly those infections that have become resistant to old-er antibiotic classes. The banned drugs were found in 8 of 12 samples of feather meal in a multi-state study. The findings were a surprise to scientists because fluoroquinolone use in U.S. poultry production was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005.” (source)
Additionally, data on antibiotic use in livestock is often not gathered:
“Eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States goes to chicken, pigs, cows and other animals that people eat, yet producers of meat and poultry are not required to report how they use the drugs — which ones, on what types of animal, and in what quantities. This dearth of information makes it difficult to document the precise relationship between routine antibiotic use in animals and antibiotic-resistant infections in people, scientists say.” (source)
Is it best to avoid meat that isn’t labeled “antibiotic free” or, better yet, “organic?” Certainly. And I highly recommend that all of my “floxie” friends eat antibiotic free and organic meat whenever possible (note that I’m not a doctor, and that you can do what you want, it just seems like prudent advice to me).
In Ben’s Story on FloxieHope, he describes how a relapse in fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms was triggered by antibiotics in meat he ate. “All I can connect to my most recent floxing is that I was eating a lot of chicken and that somehow I got enough exposure to a quinolone along with my topical steroid use to cause a serious reaction in me.”