In 2011, more antibiotics were sold for use in meat and poultry production than ever before. This is contributing to the emergence of drug-resistant superbugs that make infections more difficult and costly to treat.Full Story
Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming
The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming is working to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by phasing out the overuse and misuse of the drugs in food animal production. We work with public health and food industry leaders, veterinarians, agricultural interests, academics, and citizen groups who share our objective of protecting human and animal health.
Doctors routinely warn patients that antibiotics should be used only to treat bacterial infections, at the proper dosage, and for the full course of treatment because failure to follow these rules increases the likelihood that some of the bacteria will survive and mutate to become drug resistant. Yet many large producers of meat and poultry feed antibiotics to their healthy food animals simply to offset the effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation, as well as to promote faster growth.
In fact, up to 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States go to healthy food animals. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all testified before Congress that there was a definitive link between the routine, non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in food animal production and the crisis of antibiotic resistance in humans. This position is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other leading medical groups who all warn that the injudicious use of antibiotics in food animals presents a serious and growing threat to human health because the practice creates new strains of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.