Consumers across the United States are demanding meat and poultry raised without antibiotics—and large producers, restaurants, and other institutions are listening. Following is a list of some leading companies offering responsibly produced food.More info
Meat and poultry producers routinely feed antibiotics to healthy animals to make them grow faster and to compensate for overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. These practices breed drug-resistant superbugs that make human diseases more difficult and costly to treat and more likely to cause death. Fortunately, on March 14, U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013 (PAMTA) to restrict animal agricultural practices that threaten the public’s health. Under the bill, eight classes of antibiotics critical for curing infections in humans would be available for use on industrial farms only to treat sick animals or herds.
|"We've got to eliminate antibiotic overuse on industrial farms in order to protect human health."|
- Laura Rogers, Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming
"We've got to eliminate antibiotic overuse on industrial farms in order to protect human health," said Laura Rogers, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts' work on antibiotics in agriculture. “As the only microbiologist in Congress, Representative Slaughter is uniquely qualified to understand the threat that antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose. We’re grateful for her longstanding leadership and look forward to working with her and her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to solve this growing health problem.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently reported record-high sales of antibiotics for use on industrial farms in 2011, the last year for which data are available. Excluding ionophores, a class of drugs not used in human medicine and which would not be affected by PAMTA, 73 percent of antibiotics sold for use in the United States were intended for food animals.
Officials from the FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have testified before Congress that there is a definitive link between the use of antibiotics in food animal production and the crisis of drug-resistant infections in humans. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other leading scientists and medical experts, including four Nobel laureates, warn that use of these drugs in food animals creates new strains of dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They are supported by hundreds of studies conducted over the past four decades, including new research indicating that antibiotic overuse contributes to diseases not traditionally associated with food consumption, such as drug-resistant urinary tract infections and virulent and contagious strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA.
Each year, antibiotic-resistant infections are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and up to $26 billion in extra health care costs.
- Date added:
- Mar 14, 2013
Surveys of the animal production industry by the U.S. Department of Agriculture demonstrate that many farms and ranches administer antibiotics to healthy animals at low doses to offset overcrowding and poor sanitation and to accelerate livestock growth—practices that the medical and public health communities document as a significant factor in human antibiotic resistance. In 2013, FDA took steps to address these concerns.
Chris Linaman, executive chef at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, WA, is dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system by supporting growers and producers who raise food without the routine use of antibiotics that endanger the public’s health. Working in partnership with Health Care Without Harm and Overlake’s administration, Chris has created a comprehensive sustainable food purchasing policy for Overlake Hospital that has resulted in many impressive achievements in just a short time.More info
Two former FDA commissioners – David Kessler (1990-1997) and Donald Kennedy (1977-1979) – wrote to OMB Director Sylvia Matthews Burwell urging her to take action on antibiotics in agricultural feed.More info
SuperChefs Against Superbugs, an initiative of the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, is a movement of chefs nationwide who have expressed their support of ending the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in food animal production. As a result, the SuperChefs are urging the Food and Drug Administration to strengthen its antibiotic policies.More info