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From the News Archives...

US confinement-raised poultry not good enough for the Russians

Early in March, 2002, Russia imposed a ban on the importation of all poultry from the United States. Vladimir Fisinin, vice president of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, explained his government's position in the March 20th issue of The Moscow Times: "I would like to note that American farmers are injecting chickens with antibiotics used to treat people. This is prohibited in Russia." According to Fisinin, US poultry producers use such large doses of these drugs that they accumulate in the tissues of the birds. "It is dangerous," he said, "especially for children and older people."

Fisinin also asserted that giving antibiotics to chickens fosters the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. US medical experts agree. In a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers randomly selected 407 chickens from 26 stores in Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oregon. More than half of the chickens were tainted with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

McDonald, L. C., et al. "Quinupristin-Dalfopristin-Resistant Enterococcus Faecium on Chicken and in Human Stool Specimens."N Engl J Med345, no. 16 (2001): 1155-60.

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