Ford's Fault

Early automobile innovator Henry Ford is to blame for antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to a new book about American agriculture, “This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm,” by Ted Genoways.

In the 1920s, Ford’s agricultural laboratory wanted to create plastics and biofuels out of soy. Farmers began planting thousands of acres of it, and when a 1934 drought killed corn and wheat, they used soy as a substitute for livestock feed. But soy didn’t fatten chickens up fast enough, and antibiotics entered the picture to boost poultry growth.

Today, farm animals consume more than ¾ of U.S.-produced antibiotics.

Source: Bloomberg

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