Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tell Congress: stop the overuse of antibiotics

Basically, do we want our invaluable antibiotics to be used on farm animals to increase farmer's profits or do we want them to save human lives.  The continued use of antibiotics on farm animals will make them ineffective for human use.  Sign the petition if you agree.  From Credo:
"An outbreak in Germany this month of an antibiotic resistant E. coli strain killed 35 people and infected thousands — serving as a tragic reminder of the necessity of effective antibiotics.1
Yet antibiotics continue to decline in effectiveness — and overuse of antibiotics in the livestock industry is a major reason. Alarmingly, up to 70% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on industrial farms in healthy food animals.2
This massive overprescription is breeding new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria like E. coli and MRSA, a type of staph infection that now kills more people in the U.S. every year than AIDS.3
The trend is frightening. But last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act to phase out the rampant overuse by the livestock industry of medically important antibiotics in healthy animals. An identical measure was introduced in the House earlier this year, by Rep. Louise Slaughter, Congress' only microbiologist. Congress should pass this bill without delay.
Livestock producers use antibiotics in food and water to promote faster animal growth, what industry calls "nutritional efficiency," but the practice is also used as a way to compensate for the effects of extreme overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in factory farms."
Despite the mounting examples of the dangers of the overuse of antibiotic in the mass-production of poultry, hogs, and livestock, industry groups like the National Pork Producers Council have successfully fought regulation for years.
The FDA has largely failed to stand up to industry. Last year the FDA issued a "draft guidance," a non-binding set of guidelines, for the feeding of antibiotics to food animals. Despite hearing from tens of thousands of CREDO members and other food safety groups, FDA has failed to finalize the guidance to date, let alone issue actual regulations to stop this dangerous practice.
It's up to congress to take action, and halt the overuse of antibiotics in food that is both endangering human life, and allowing industry to maintain cruel conditions for animals."
Thank you for fighting for safe and healthy food.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. "Scientists fear the over-use of antibiotics in medicine and farming may have led to the deadly E.coli outbreak," The Daily Mail, June 7, 2011.
2. "Most U.S. Antibiotics Fed to Healthy Livestock," Scientific American, January 10, 2001
3. "When Food Kills," New York Times, June 11, 2011
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