Thoughts on responsible agricultural practices
by Joyce Ibana
Every person consumes food to sustain life. Thus, agricultural food production is one of the human activities that makes a very significant impact on our environment, health, and economy. As the impact of antibiotic resistance rapidly becomes a forefront problem in medical practice, we need to be more mindful of the eco-footprint of the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in our farming industries.
The regulation of antibiotic use in poultry farming has been successfully implemented by large and small-scale industries in the Philippines. Thus, we think that it is a matter of making the public more aware of the negative impact of agricultural practices that utilize antibiotics for purposes other than the treatment of diseases.
Specifically, we need to clarify the economic gains of reducing our use of antibiotics in farming practices in terms of the economic losses due to the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance in our country. This includes the medical care losses arising from multiple rounds of trial and error in antibiotic treatments of patients, which can also happen to farm animals. Consequently, this also raises the need for more research money to develop new antibiotics to catch up with the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Clarifying these losses can be leveraged as a marketing tool for agricultural products that are being produced more responsibly. As the public becomes more aware of the negative impacts of what we do or buy, we can create a market force that encourages the consumption of food products that are mindful of the common good.
Thus, we commit to supporting and conducting agricultural research that would promote and support a culture that drives a market for the consumption of better alternatives that consider the fate of our environmental systems and of humanity.