Ninety percent of the sore throats we Americans experience each year are viral in nature and immune to antibiotics, but medical statistics indicate that 73 percent of the estimated 6.7 million visits by adult to physicians complaining of a sore throat between 1989 and 1999 in a prescription for antibiotics.

That means many if not most prescriptions written for antibiotics are inappropriate, which seems like an overly polite way of describing this gigantic scam. […]

There are two big problems with the antibiotics racket: it is now the leading cause of adverse drug reactions in the United States and it produces resistant strains of deadly bacteria. Every body of water in the nation, including drinking water, tested for drug residues turns up antibiotics that have accumulated from human waste and from runoff traceable to animal farms that overuse antibiotics as growth promoters. These residues bioaccumulate in fish and other aquatic life to provide us with still another jolt of antibiotics somewhere else along the food consumption chain.

We are disrupting our body’s inner ecology by killing  off harmless bacteria that may protect our health by bolstering our immune systems. Discover magazine featured an appropriately titled article, “Are Antibiotics Killing Us?” in its October 2005 edition that made an irrefutable case showing how antibiotics has “accelerated the spread of drug-resistant genes to the public” and this threatens our very survival.

Between 2000 and 2003 the reported cases of a bacterial infection known as C.diff doubled in U.S. hospitals. Other similar outbreaks were documented in Canada, England, and the Netherlands. This dangerous strain had quickly mutated to resist standard antibiotics treatments and began infecting young people for the first time, causing many severe illnesses and fatalities. An article in the December 21, 2005 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that persons taking Prilosec and Prevacid, both popular heartburn medications, were three times more likely to be diagnosed with C.diff as those not taking the medication. Apparently a type of synergy had developed between the overuse of antibiotics and the use of heartburn medications to create an intestinal environment conducive to the spread of this meaner and nastier strain of bacteria.

“Every time we take a course of penicillin or erythromycin we don’t need, we turn our bodies into little laboratories for the breeding of resistant germs,” Melven Konner warns us. “Widespread feeding of antibiotics to livestock exacerbates the problem. And the more resistance there is, the more money pharmaceutical companies have to invest in new antibiotic research, money that they then feel they have to recoup–as well as gaining substantial profit–by charging very high prices for the very newest drugs.”

The Hundred-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald, pg. 128-29.