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Supermoms Against Superbugs

Supermoms Against Superbugs, an initiative of the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, is a movement of moms, dads, grandparents, and other caregivers who want to end the overuse of antibiotics in food animal production.

In 2011, drugmakers sold nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics in the United States just for chickens, pigs, cows and other food animals.

Using these drugs to produce our meat and poultry is breeding dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that can infect people. And children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk.

Take this opportunity to join other supermoms in combatting this very serious issue.

Supermoms Against Superbugs Advocacy Days

On April 16, 2013, Pew hosted the second annual Supermoms Against Superbugs Advocacy Day. More than 50 concerned moms, dads and other caregivers came to the nation’s capital to lobby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Congress and the White House to rein in the overuse of antibiotics in meat and poultry production – a practice that breeds dangerous superbugs that can infect humans. Click here to meet the 2013 Supermoms and see highlights from the advocacy day that included nearly 100 meetings with policymakers across D.C.

This event built off the successful 2012 advocacy day where 25 concerned parents spoke out on the need to stop misusing antibiotics on industrial farms to ensure that they work when we need them most. The 2012 Supermoms were chefs, pediatricians, farmers, and every day moms and dads who had a particular interest in this issue. In just eight hours, we went to 50 meetings with policymakers.  

Learn more about Supermoms Against Supermoms advocacy days in our video shorts:

Supermoms Take on WashingtonCommitted to Farming, Committed to HealthA Mother's Fight Against Antibiotic ResistanceSuperChefs Against SuperbugsA Supermom Goes to Washington

Supermoms Take on Washington

Committed to Farming, Committed to Health

A Mother Fights Against Antibiotic Resistance

SuperChefs Against Superbugs

A Supermom Goes to Washington


lulac-logoSuper Madres Against Superbugs – An Initiative of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 

LULAC has launched Super Madres Against Superbugs to raise awareness in the Hispanic community and to advocate against the injudicious use of antibiotics in food animal production. LULAC and the Super Madres are united to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for our communities, our children and our families.

LULAC’s interest in this issue stems from research that shows Hispanics are more likely to be farm workers than any other ethnic group, putting them at an increased risk of exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and illness.  Click here to learn more.  

Adding Meat and Poultry Raised without Antibiotics to the School Lunch Menu

HHIF_supermoms_300x210_sh_rmChicago Leads the Way and Other School Districts Follow Suit

Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third-largest school system in the country, announced in late 2011 that it had begun serving local chicken raised without antibiotics to students in 473 schools. This purchase, made through food service provider Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, was the first of its kind. No other district in the nation is serving this kind of poultry regularly at such a scale. Since September 2010, Chartwells and CPS have examined how antibiotics are used in poultry production, through their participation in the School Food FOCUS (Food Options for Children in the United States) Learning Lab. Chartwells made the decision to buy chicken raised without antibiotics for Chicago schools with research and consulting support from the Learning Lab and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Negotiations with the producer, Miller Amish Country Poultry of Orland, Indiana, were facilitated with help from Whole Foods. Read the full press release on the announcement and view the photo essay, which provides more details on the original purchasing decision.

For the 2013-14 school year, Chicago Public Schools states in its new Request for Proposal (RFP) that poultry raised without antibiotics should be served whenever possible, but its food service provider is required to provide poultry raised without antibiotics at least once a month in both elementary and secondary schools.

To help other districts follow Chicago’s lead, the School Food FOCUS Learning Lab and Pew developed purchasing guidelines for institutions and a Request for Proposals template (PDF) that any school district can adapt for its own use. School Food FOCUS is working with school districts across the country to follow in Chicago’s footsteps and source meat and poultry raised without antibiotics. Stay tuned for the exciting developments!

If you are interested in doing the same in your school district, call your principal, your school board representatives, and your school superintendent, and tell them that you want what Chicago's students have: meat and poultry raised without the routine use of antibiotics. Click here to download a letter that you can send school officials, outlining what steps they can take to protect our children's health.

Tell Us Your Story

Why are you concerned about the misuse of antibiotics in food animal production? Why are antibiotics important to you and your family? Let us know, and we could feature you on our website and/or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Related Resources

Bibliography on Antibiotic Resistance and Food Animal Production

This bibliography lists the latest published scientific and economic literature concerning the contribution of routine antibiotic use in food animals to the growing public health crisis of human antibiotic resistance.  Research on how antibiotic use in food animal production contributes to the growing health crisis of antibiotic resistance dates back more than 30 years. 


Top Food Companies Moving Away From Overuse of Antibiotics on Industrial Farms

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.


FDA Reports that 25 of 26 Antibiotic Makers Will Comply with New Policies

On March 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that 25 out of 26 drug companies that sell antibiotics for growth promotion “confirmed in writing their intent to engage with FDA as defined in Guidance #213.” FDA introduced this policy in final form Dec. 11, 2013, to curb antibiotic overuse and increase veterinary oversight on industrial farms. More

200,000+ Americans to FDA: Require Real Veterinary Oversight of Antibiotics on Industrial Farms

Three months ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took an important step to protect people from superbugs. For the first time, it issued a set of proposed policies that would require food producers and feed mills to obtain a veterinarian’s order before adding antibiotics to animal feed or water. More

New FDA Policies on Antibiotics Use in Food Animal Production

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.



MRSA, Football, and Industrial Farms

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of bacteria that can infect a person’s skin, bones, lungs, heart, brain, and blood. Unlike common staph, MRSA does not respond to traditional antibiotics such as penicillin, making it more difficult and costlier to treat, and more lethal.

To Stifle Superbugs, Veterinarians are Vital

To prepare for the big game this Sunday, some of America’s top athletes will run drills and watch film to anticipate the other team’s strategy—but even the best players cannot predict what might be their fiercest opposition.

Superbug Showdown

Like rivals on the gridiron, superbugs and antibiotic drugs are battling for supremacy. Check out the players on Team Antibiotic and Team Superbug. More

Pew Report Highlights Hidden Costs of Industrialized Poultry Production

Industrialized poultry production in the United States delivers considerable efficiencies, but the same system carries significant, hidden costs for the environment, for many communities where chickens are raised for industrial production, and sometimes for the chicken growers themselves, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

FDA Acts to Fight Superbugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a set of policies to curb the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms. Using these drugs in animals and people contributes to the spread of resistant bacteria that can infect and hospitalize people. About 70 percent of medically important antibiotics sold in this country are for food animals, and most are used in feed without supervision of a veterinarian. More

New York State PTA Votes to Protect Antibiotics and Children's Health

The New York State Parent Teacher Association made history at its 117th Annual Convention by becoming the first state PTA to take a stand against antibiotic overuse in livestock. On November 16, delegates passed a resolution calling on Congress and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to protect human health from antibiotic overuse on industrial meat and poultry farms. More

3 Tips for Setting a Sustainable Table This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, as Americans think of family and feasting, consumers can use the opportunity to encourage a food production system that promotes and protects our health.

Hospitals Make the Switch to Meat Raised Without Antibiotics

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.


Quiz: Get Smart About Antibiotics on the Farm

November 18-24 is Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, an annual campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that promotes the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. The human health and industrial farming campaign of The Pew Charitable Trust has created an interactive quiz to highlight the overuse of antibiotics in animal food production and test your knowledge of the issue. More

Former FDA Heads Urge White House to Fight Superbugs, Curb Antibiotic Overuse

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.