Food Safety: Antibiotic Resistent Bacteria
According to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY):
Today, seven classes of antibiotics certified by the FDA as "highly" or "critically" important in human medicine are used in agriculture as animal feed additives for nontherapeutic purposes. Approximately 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs produced in the US are given to cattle, pigs, and chicken to promote growth and to compensate for crowded, unsanitary, stressful conditions.
This practice contributes significantly to the growing trend of antibiotic resistance and the spread of superbugs, making it harder and more expensive to treat common bacterial infections. In fact, the problem has become so significant that it has been labeled a "top concern" by the CDC, and the World Health Organization has called it a crisis.Columnist Nicholas Kristof chimed into the debate too, citing MRSA infections in pigs and humans on factory hog farms. Clearly, if we value human health above the profitability of factory farm operations, then we must ban the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics on livestock for any drug classes used in human medicine. Recipe for America supports Louise Slaughter's bill, the Preservation of Antibiotics in Medical Treatment Act, which would enact such a ban.
More informationAntibiotic Resistance and the Agricultural Overuse of Antibiotics: What Hospitals Systems Can Do (article) From Health Care Without Harm
CDC: MRSA of Animal Origins in Humans (article) December 2007
DailyKos: Sacrificing Cancer Patients for Cows and Profit (blog entry) March 4, 2007.
Pollan: Our Decrepit Food Factories (article)
SFGate: Fight to Curtail Antibiotics in Animal Feed (article) January 28, 2008. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-WA) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced the "Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act" that would phase out in two years antibiotics deemed "important in human medicine."
Recent newsA War on Drugs I Can Support (blog entry) About Louise Slaughter's bill to ban non-therapeutic antibiotic use in livestock. March 2009.
Kristof: Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health (article) March 2009.
PAMTA Under Fire From the Farm Bureau (blog entry) About the Farm Bureau's opposition to Louise Slaughter's antibiotics bill. March 2009.
Preservation for Antibiotics in Medical Treatment Act (news source)