Every day, antibiotics are fed to perfectly healthy farm animals that make their way into our nation’s food supply, promoting the development of deadly antibiotic-resistant infections. Please help end this practice by signing the petition telling Congress that, as a matter of good public health policy, we need to stop feeding America’s farm animals unnecessary antibiotics.
Do you want to take antibiotics even when you are not sick? In a way, you are. Industrial farms routinely add antibiotics to the food of healthy animals in order to promote fast growth and to compensate for unsanitary living conditions — making an ideal breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria to spread to the human population.
Bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli are becoming increasingly antibiotic-resistant due, in large part, to the handling and consumption of contaminated meat and produce that has been exposed to resistant bacteria in soil and water.
The decreased effectiveness of antibiotics due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria is straining the the U.S. health care system to the tune of $4 to $5 billion per year, causing approximately 300,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. Now is the time to cut health care costs, not add unnecessarily to them.
This week is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,” which raises awareness about antibiotic resistance and the importance of proper antibiotic use in humans.
The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act calls for the withdrawal of 7 classes of antibiotics vitally important to human health from use on industrial farms — unless the animals are known to be sick. Please take a moment right now to urge Congress to end inappropriate antibiotic use on farms.
According to SaveAntibiotics.org, up to 70 percent of U.S. antibiotics go to animals raised on industrial farms that aren’t sick; penicillins, tetracyclines, macrolides, sulfonamides, and other antibiotic intended for humans are typically pre-mixed in poultry and livestock feed or added to drinking water, often giving food animals constant low doses of antibiotics over much of their entire lives; and 90 percent of hogs and 97 percent of poultry are grown on factory farms in the United States.
Make no mistake about it. This is a serious public health issue. The Obama administration has stated its support for a ban on the routine use of antibiotics in animal feed. Now is the time to let Congress know that you agree.
Please urge congress to to support the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, legislation that would withdraw 7 classes of antibiotics vitally important to human health from use on industrial farms unless animals or herds are sick with disease.
Photo: United States Department of Agriculture