Letters to the Editor | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters to the Editor

Antibiotics in animal agriculture

President Obama directed federal agencies to serve antibiotic-free meat and poultry in government cafeterias. The FDA will require animal producers to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use drugs to treat a specific disease, rather than just to promote rapid growth, as is current practice. As much as 80 percent of all U.S. antibiotics are used in animal agriculture. The moves come amid growing concern about the link between routine antibiotic use in animal agriculture and human infections by bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics because of their excessive use. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that antibiotic resistance causes two million illnesses per year in the U.S. and 23,000 deaths. It also adds $20 billion per year in health care costs and $35 billion in lost productivity. And we thought that animal products were just linked to heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

While government agencies reduce antibiotics in animal products, the rest of us can do better immediately with wholesome vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains and a rich variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, milks and ice cream available in every supermarket. These foods contain all the nutrients we require, without the deadly pathogens, antibiotics, carcinogens, cholesterol and saturated fats.

Samuel Alexander

South Lake Tahoe

Police practice

Instead of being reactionary and defensive, why not be progressive and proactive? For their protection, our police department should adopt police body cameras for use by all on-duty personnel. We should also go to wide-angle cameras for patrol vehicles, front and back, and camera all areas where prisoners are held, including inside vehicles. Measures like these will protect our officers as well as our city’s finances, since it is now widely-known that claims against municipalities go way down after introduction of such equipment. Why not get ahead of the curve on this one?

Oh, I forgot, no funding, but wait! Why not sell the armored assault vehicle? There’s some cash. I don’t think anyone can point to a need for it before it arrived and surely our citizens never asked for anything like this. Decades ago in Peru, I was appalled to see similar vehicles intimidating and herding political demonstrators. We have all seen news footage of such vehicles attacking crowds with water cannon and gas. These vehicles are the trademark of an occupying army. They have no place in a modern democracy and they do not belong in the great republic. Let’s bring back common sense in police practice.

Dan Gill

South Lake Tahoe

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