Missouri scientists say grassy buffers provide protection against animal antibiotics

Monday, February 15, 2010 | 4:50 p.m. CST; updated 6:53 p.m. CST, Monday, February 15, 2010

ST. LOUIS — Many farmers grow grass or other plant buffers to control erosion or capture herbicides from their fields.

Now, MU scientists say there's another reason to plant them. They say the buffers can mitigate the potential risk of routine use of antibiotics in livestock.

Keith Goyne, an assistant professor of soil chemistry, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the buffers can prevent antibiotics from leaching into water resources.

Some scientists are concerned that antibiotic use in livestock could lead to antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans.

The researchers found that buffer strips can reduce up to 80 percent of antibiotics in an animal's manure, and that certain plants are especially good at dissipating the substances.

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Sean Coder February 15, 2010 | 6:43 p.m.

Nonetheless, when one consumes meat from an animal raised with antibiotics one still takes in the antibiotics.

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