Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Effects of the illegal use of pharmaceutical products in animal production on human health

13.09.2002


The use of drugs/pharmaceuticals in cattle rearing is the object of a recent study, carried out by two researchers from the Centro de Estudos Farmacêuticos, Laboratório de Bromatologia, Hidrologia e Nutrição (Pharmaceutical Study Centre, Bromatology, Hydrology and Nutrition Laboratory) at the Pharmacy Faculty of Coimbra University. The consequences for consumers are, from a public health standpoint, the most significant conclusions to take from an exhaustive work of literary revision in these matters, started in 2000.



The fat content contained in the meat has been a concern for consumers, for reasons of health and diet, who consider it an unnecessary nutrient, or rather, best avoided. For this reason producers attempt to improve the return on their activities by producing more and better lean meat, and in the shortest possible space of time. In this context, the quantity of drugs/ pharmaceuticals used to promote animal growth has been increasing exponentially, especially connected to forms of intensive methods of farming, which has meant an increase in the availability of foods, but in the meanwhile it has also meant the presence of the residues of these products in not insignificant levels in meat.

The researchers Fernando Ramos and Maria Irene Noronha da Silveira have dedicated themselves to the study of the use of a group of pharmaceuticals known as andrenergic agonists b2. Part of the work of the authors – published in the Revista Portuguesa de Ciências Veterinárias (Portuguese Veterinary Science Magazine) in the Summer of 2002 – concentrates on the use of those substances in the average daily weight increase of chickens, swine, sheep and bovines, specifically the increase in muscle mass and the decrease of body fat. In fact, the andrenergic agonists b2 facilitate the production of leaner meat, but not without consequences, be it at a zootechny level, be it at levels of toxins for consumers. There have already been three cases of poisoning of groups of people in Portugal, between 1998 and 2001, and similar situations occurred in Spain, France and Italy in the last decade.


Of this group of pharmaceuticals, only one is authorised for therapeutic ends in veterinary medicine. Its use is prohibited in zootechny. The proliferation of the illegal use of veterinary medicines in general, and andrenergic agonists b2 in particular, raises concerns regarding toxicity, especially for consumers but also for cattle-feeders. The danger of toxicity in the animal can be controlled, as long as good veterinary and agricultural practice is maintained; regarding the environment, these products do not present eco-toxicity, as their elimination in faeces has no bad effects on the quality of soil or water.
Regarding the cattle-feeder, people who suffer from illnesses related with the cardio-respiratory system, like asthmatics, are advised not to work in this area. If norms of security and hygiene at work are not respected there is also the danger of dermatological and pulmonary problems.

With regard to the consumer, the main toxic effects of the pharmaceuticals are a reflection of the exaggerated pharmacological responses due to the administration of large doses , that leave residues in the edible tissue of meat-producing animals. The monitoring of these parameters is particularly important taking into account the risk-populations that are made up of individuals that suffer from isquemic cardiopathy, high blood pressure and/or those who have hydro-electrolytic problems. The problem extends to those who need to take diuretics and all those who are being treated with pharmaceuticals from the same therapeutic group, which are in general, people who suffer from asthmatic problems to a greater or lesser degree, and that represent a considerable proportion of the world population (10% in 1995).

Although the diagnosis of intoxication by andrenergic agonists b2 is extremely difficult in an isolated patient, the authors believe the chance of intoxication should be seriously taken into account when the corresponding symptomatology occurs in a group of people who have eaten liver – this being the edible tissue where the pharmaceuticals in question accumulate in the greatest quantity and for longer.

The authors suggest that in cases of intoxication – like those registered in Portugal – that the sanitary authority is alerted, namely the new Agência para a Qualidade e Segurança Alimentar (Agency for Food Quality and Security). If it is possible to analyse the foods in question, efforts should be made to identify the butcher that sold the meat, the slaughterhouse and the producer, in order to be able to act against those responsible for crime of Public Health.

Fernando Ramos | alfa
Further information:
http://rpcv.fmv.utl.pt/edicao/6_2002/502_51_62.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>