04/13/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Animal Antibiotics (VIDEO): Denmark's Limited Antibiotic Industry

In Part Two of her expose on antibiotic use in animals, CBS anchor Katie Couric travels to Denmark to see the other side of the spectrum (see Part One here).

While industrial farms in the U.S. use antibiotics on healthy farm animals to promote growth and prevent disease, the Danish only use antibiotics when animals are sick, Couric said. They launched what's known as the "Danish Experiment" 12 years ago, after a study revealed a link between animals who take antibiotics to people who develop drug-resistant infections after handling or eating that meat.

"The food consists of wheat, barley and oats, soya, and a mineral mix," Soren Helmer, a Danish pig farmer, said. "No antibiotics here."

Helmer thought switching to antibiotic-free animals would not be as efficient a method of producing pigs. To the contrary, the Danish pork industry has grown by 43 percent since the ban, Couric reported.


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