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 Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

More genes are active in high-performance maize

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

How plants see light

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>