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Project

Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming

Status:
Active

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.
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Pew Report Highlights Hidden Costs of Industrialized Poultry Production

Press Release
  • Dec 17, 2013

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.
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Farmer Friday: Celebrating Farmers Who Raise Animals without Antibiotics

Americans want food that is raised sustainably and that promotes public health while minimizing harm to the environment. It is our agricultural system that affords these choices to the American consumer. Farmer Friday provides a weekly opportunity to shine a spotlight on these producers and thank them for protecting public health by using antibiotics only when their animals are sick.

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Los Angeles Times: Antibiotics for People, not Animals

Opinion

So far this year, more than 300 people have gotten sick from bacteria called Salmonella heidelberg. Almost three-quarters of them live in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that chicken produced in three Central California processing facilities is the "likely source of this outbreak" and that the bacteria are "resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics."

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Still Waiting After All These Years

Opinion

In 1977, Jimmy Carter was president. Elvis Presley was still in the building. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was rolling up its sleeves to start addressing the problem of antibiotic overuse on industrial farms. Thirty-six years later, President Barack Obama is settling into his second term. And the FDA still has not adequately addressed the public health threat posed by antibiotic overuse. We cannot wait any longer.

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''The Threat From Antibiotic Use on the Farm''

Opinion

When I was commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency’s national advisory committee recommended in 1977 that we eliminate an agricultural practice that threatened human health. Routinely feeding low doses of antibiotics to healthy livestock, our scientific advisory committee warned, was breeding drug-resistant bacteria that could infect people. We scheduled hearings to begin the process of curtailing the use of penicillin and other antibiotics for this purpose, but Congress halted the effort before it started.

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Pew Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Antimicrobial Data Collection Act

Press Release
  • May 8, 2013

Pew Charitable Trusts today applauded Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Susan Collins (R-ME), for introducing the Antimicrobial Data Collection Act, which would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, to report more information on the annual sales of antibiotics used among industrial farm animals. The bipartisan bill would also give the agency a deadline to finalize policies proposed last year to eliminate the use of antibiotics for growth promotion purposes in meat production.

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''Overused Antibiotics are Becoming Ineffective''

Opinion

"As a nation, we need to exercise greater care with our use of antibiotics, in both humans and animals, so that these medications remain effective in treating serious bacterial infections."

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''It is Vital That We Monitor Antibiotic Use in Livestock''

Opinion

It used to be easy to treat healthy children with common bacterial infections; a regimen of antibiotic pills could usually wipe out the disease. Today, patients might need to go home on intravenous antibiotics because oral therapies will no longer work. Antibiotic resistance is to blame.

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''Lewiston Woman Sickened by Ground Beef Rallies Against Antibiotics in Meat''

Media Coverage
  • Apr 17, 2013
  • Bangor Daily News

A past bout of salmonella led Maine resident Danielle Wadsworth to travel to Washington, D.C. this week to argue for stronger regulations to curtail the use of antibiotics in livestock farming. She took part Wednesday in "Supermoms Against Superbugs," an initiative of the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming.

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''Nashville Voices Take Concerns About Antibiotic Resistance to Washington''

Media Coverage
  • Apr 16, 2013
  • The Tennesseean

Dr. Cecilia Di Pentima is in Washington, D.C., for “Supermoms against Superbugs” to push for laws to curtail the use of antibiotics in livestock farming — one of many fronts in the battle to preserve the effectiveness of the medicines. Family physicians in the South, including Tennessee, have also been identified as inadvertent purveyors of drug-resistant bacteria by prescribing too many antibiotics.

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''Rep. Louise Slaughter On Antibiotics, Meat And Superbugs''

"80 percent of all the antibiotics we pump out these days goes into animals and animal feed — cows, hogs, chickens, turkeys and more across America, chowing down daily on antibiotics in their feed. To make them grow faster. To allow them to live in crowded conditions. Health officials are clanging the alarm bell, saying that is overuse that is breeding antibiotic-resistant superbugs that we can’t stop, that kill. The meat industry says, “chill out.”

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''Yes, Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs Can Jump from Animals to Humans''

Opinion

"For decades, the meat industry has denied any problem with its reliance on routine, everyday antibiotic use for the nation's chickens, cows, and pigs. But it's a bit like a drunk denying an alcohol problem while leaning on a barstool for support. Antibiotic use on livestock farms has surged in recent years — from 20 million pounds annually in 2003 to nearly 30 million pounds in 2011."

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''Antibiotics and the Meat We Eat''

Opinion

"Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration systematically monitor the meat and poultry sold in supermarkets around the country for the presence of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. These food products are bellwethers that tell us how bad the crisis of antibiotic resistance is getting. And they’re telling us it’s getting worse."

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Pew Commends Senators Gillibrand and Feinstein for Working to Shine Light on Antibiotics Practices

Press Release
  • Mar 20, 2013

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today adopted the Animal Drug User Fee Act, which failed to include provisions from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would improve the Food and Drug Administration's annual reporting of antibiotic sales for use on industrial farms.

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