New law to regulate rampant use of antibiotics
The South Korean Government is pushing to enact a law on foodstuff
safety which would regulate the use of antibiotics in poultry, livestock and
According to report by World Health Organisation (WHO), Koreans have the highest
resistance to penicillin, a traditional antibiotic. It is believed this is
connected to long term exposure to antibiotics in food.
Until fairly recently, South Koreans were able to purchase antibiotics, for
ailments such as mild colds, without a prescription. The implementation of a
system separating medical centres from dispensaries is believed to be helping
reduce reliance on antibiotics in humans.
But unlimited amounts of antibiotics have still be used in raising chickens,
cattle and fish, with an estimated 916 grams of antibiotics used for the
production of one tonne of meat on average. This eqyates to about 30 times the
amount used in advanced nations, according to concerned authorities.
It is feared that further exposure to antibiotics may increase the already
concerning prevalence of immunity to antibiotics in South Korea. There has also
been an increase in tuberculosis and other infectious diseases in recent times.
It is hoped that the proposed new legislation will restrict the use of
antibiotics in animal raising, and also increase awareness of the problem in the
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