What’s the greatest invention?

Quick: What’s the greatest invention/discovery ever? Fire? The wheel? Tools? Indoor plumbing? Air conditioning?

My vote might go to antibiotics. It’s difficult to overstate how much they’ve improved the human condition.

It’s almost as difficult to overstate the controversy generated by using antibiotics in animal health. Supporters say the practice is necessary and that they use antibiotics judiciously. Critics say the practice is increasing the resistance of humans to antibiotics.

In any case, there’s growing interest in the use of alternatives to antibiotics in animal health. Some smart people, including USDA researchers, are studying alternatives.

You can read my cover story on the issue in the Aug. 6  issue of Agweek.

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