The development of penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic, in the 1920s is perhaps one of the most important developments in the history of medical science. Along with the development of public health and medical research, it meant that diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid, blood poisoning and pneumonia, which had terrified communities, could be easily treated. Surgical procedures that had carried risks of amputation or even death suddenly became simple, routine treatments. The video above (released by our colleagues at Friends of the Earth Europe this summer) shows we are on the verge of a regressing back to a time without these protections.

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