Mocha Express
Thought provoking commentary on
Business, Technology, Organizations, and Organizational Dynamics
to clarify my thinking and engage in intelligent conversation.
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2.14 Act Locally, Destroy Globally
Let's Give One of Our Last Antibiotic Hopes to Cattle
          .... to Cultivate Disease?

March 04, 2007

FDA To Allow Cefquinome For Cattle

The Washington Post, today, had an article that is the prototypical "acting locally to destroy globally".

.1 Evolution of Bacteria to Overcome Antibiotics

We, humans, have had the health revolution of antibiotics. Starting with Penicillin, in the 1940s along with other drugs, we have enjoyed the wonder of a whole class of diseases becoming "just a disease" instead of life threatening.

But, like the bacteria did to the Martians in H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds", the bacteria are striking back at us..... and, even worse, we are letting personal, parochial interest aid and abet the little devils. It seems that, in spite of the protestations of some people, evolution really, really is happening in the domain of disease: the weak bacteria fade away and only the strong, medicine resistant ones survive to kill people.

.2 Just Doing Our Capitalistic Thing and Fund Research

The marketeers and business folk at the pharmaceutical companies want to expand their sales. This is normally just good business sense and actually mandatory. Only through vigorous response to competition do we enjoy the benefits of modern life.

In this case, the pharmaceutical companies want the FDA to allow them to sell one of their drugs for use on cattle in feedlots. The specific drug, cefquinome, is used to treat a pneumonia-like disease. While there are many other drugs that are more than effective, the pharmaceutical company wants to compete on that disease. It is also the case that the disease in question is pretty minor and seems to only occur because of the cramped conditions of the normal cattle feedlot.

.3 ...But cefquinome Is One Of The Last Effective Antibiotics For Humans....
So, let's get this straight:

  1. cefquinome belongs to a class of highly potent antibiotics that are among medicine's last defenses against several serious human infections.
  2. Evolution is real, at least for bacteria: the more you use an antibiotic, the sooner the bacteria will evolve so that it doesn't hurt them since kills the "weak" and leaves a rich environment for the "strong" to reproduce.
  3. Experts agree that all antibiotics should be used judiciously; "If a drug is used less, then less resistance emerges," said Patricia Griffin.
  4. Like the PR Flack in the hilarious movie "Thank-you for Smoking", "There is reasonable certainty of no harm to public health," Carl Johnson, InterVet's director of product development. I.e. if we don't currently know it will be bad, what the hay, lets use it.
  5. More than a dozen medicines are already on the market for the respiratory syndrome, and all are still effective

So.... we don't need it but let us use it where it is sure to foster disease resistant bacteria.

.4 Bottom Line: Major Risk for the Future for Local Revenue Gain Today

Normally, the market forces of our country work wonderfully to encourage innovation and hard work.

But, in the area of life critical devices and medicines, the normal, robust, consumer driven natural selection in the market place can be disastrous. Acting to locally optimize revenues (which leads to promotions and salary increase for the individuals) can actually destroy people.

We commented on this before, in the case of individual, where "simple people" using antibiotics to significantly improve their short term health in less than stellar environments, are cultivating the deadly diseases of tomorrow.

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1   Clever, but not very Smart
  January 01, 1997
1.1   Mayberry Rules
    February 20, 2012
2   Random Elucidatons
  January 01, 1997
2.1   Stifle Free Speech
    November 16, 2012
2.2   Rewarding Accomplishing Goals
    February 17, 2013
2.3   Banana Slugs:The Law of Unintended Consequences:Protect and Lose
    August 02, 2009
2.4   Computer ate my Sbx Reward
    February 03, 2013
2.5   The End Of Innovation or How To Lie With Statistics?
    July 02, 2005
2.6   Lying With Statistics:CNN Article that Organic Food is Not "more nutritious'
    August 22, 2008
2.7   Everything Old is New Again
    June 28, 2011
2.8   Topical:just like Sub-Prime => Commodity Greed
    April 19, 2008
2.9   Tools:Spreading Knowledge That Can Hurt:
    April 14, 2008
2.10   Tools:Trying to Help While Still Selling Corn
    February 27, 2008
2.11   The Game is Rigged:Attacking with Speculative Analysis
    January 06, 2008
2.12   Getting your "Eyes On" to see ATV Damage
    November 26, 2007
2.13   US Forest Service - "Leave No Trace... or you will do Trail Maintenance with a Trowel!"
    October 13, 2007
2.14   Act Locally, Destroy Globally:Cultivate Disease Resistance
    March 04, 2007
2.15   Joisting with Self-Glorifying Windmills
    March 03, 2007
3   Analysis
  January 01, 1997
3.1   Analysis of Medical Insurance Discussion
    April 06, 2013
3.2    Degrees of Risk
    April 24, 2013
3.3   Qualifying Experts
    January 25, 2014
4   Finches:Urban Ones Smart??
  March 23, 2016
5   BBC - Propaganda
  June 10, 2016
6   BBC Propaganda, again
  June 15, 2016
7    Why did Agriculture Start 13,000 years ago
  June 23, 2016
8   Ice Core TimeLine Munge
  September 22, 2016
9   Ice Age Survival
  December 29, 2016
Carpe Diem: What you can envision, you can achieve!sm
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