A new study published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology has revealed exposure to antibiotics in conjunction with pesticides increases antibiotic resistance. The study represents the first publication that specifically addresses the long term impact of herbicide use on antibiotics and represents a public health risk and follows on the heels of the new study declaring glyphosate a carcinogen.
Jack Heinemann the lead study authors has linked the over use of antibiotics and pesticides to genetically modified crops that have been genetically engineered to be resistant to pesticides. Previous studies have linked genetically modified crops to over use of herbicides.
The study linked the combinations of three of the most commonly used herbicides, dicamba (sold commercially under the name Kamba); 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid; and glyphosate (RoundUp) to antibiotic resistance.
“The countries that are growing GM crops at scale may wish to include these unanticipated effects on microbes in their evaluations,” Heinemann said. “The exposure pathways that we identified as possibly being the most relevant for future study generally arose from the use of the herbicide by others – for example, in the urban setting” Heinemann said. “Therefore, it may take communities talking to each other to find ways to reduce unintended exposures.”
“The researchers want to continue testing to determine what specific pesticide/herbicide ingredient causes antibiotics to be less effective, increasing antibiotic resistance.