If this 4th of July you had a bite of a pork chop or enjoyed chicken salad, you might want to thank Uncle Sam and the pharmaceutical industry for that special ingredient in your meat — antibiotics.
That's right. Up to 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used in industrial animal confinements for chicken, beef and hogs at sub-therapeutic levels, not to treat disease, but to make the animals grow faster.
For years doctors and scientists have warned our federal government and livestock producers that the continued use of sub-therapeutic antibiotic is a serious threat to human health, but federal agencies have been bullied by the factory farm industry.
The Obama administration recently released rules that would allow factory farms to continue the rampant misuse of antibiotics, making compliance voluntary.
Click here to tell President Obama and the FDA that it's time close the loopholes and make strong rules on antibiotics use in livestock mandatory to put public health over factory farm profits.
In recent decades, medical doctors and public health scientists have become alarmed at the steady rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that no longer respond to frontline antibiotics to treat disease in humans and have found proof that overuse of unnecessary antibiotics in factory farms is contributing to this growing problem.
The rise of antibiotic-resistance is so severe, that government officials now admit that humans can become infected when they eat or even handle infected meat. Equally alarming is the fact that microbes from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meat “can contaminate kitchen counters, utensils and other food”.
With more Americans becoming ill with infections resistant to antibiotics, it’s time to end this factory farm practice that threatens the viability of these miracle drugs.
It's time that the FDA finalize Guidance 209 (Docket No. FDA-2010-D-0094) and improve draft Guidance 213 (FDA-2011-D-0889) and Veterinary Feed Directive; Draft Text for Proposed Regulation (Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0155). With antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections on the rise, American's need the White House and the FDA to take action now to make sure that public health is put first over factory farm profits that threaten a vital medical tool that keeps our families safe from dangerous infections.
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. “When Food Kills", The New York Times, June 11, 2011.
2. “Livestock drugs threaten human health, FDA says”, Des Moines Register, August 1, 2010
3. “FDA: Antibiotics in Meat "Serious Threat””, SF Health News, Examiner.com, June 29, 2010
4. “Next steps to thwart 'superbugs'”, Chicago-Tribune, July 1, 2012
5. “FDA's strong words and weak enforcement - will a voluntary ban on antimicrobials change industry practice?”, Extending the Cure, April 12, 2012