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UK & Australia Take Action to Fight Superbugs

Health & Wellness  (tags: children, diet, death, disease, drugs, environment, ethics, food, government, health, humans, illness, medicine, prevention, protection, research, risks, safety, science, society, warning )

- 1024 days ago -
Learn about recent steps in the UK and Australia that, coupled with action in several EU countries, show growing global consensus on the danger antibiotic overuse on the farm poses for human health.

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JL A. (287)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 8:16 am
Other Resource
United Kingdom, Australia Take Action to Fight Superbugs

Jan 29, 2013
Project: Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming

The United Kingdom and Australia are looking to curb the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms.
As the United States waits for Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to rein in the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms, the rest of the world has been much less complacent. In early January, the World Economic Forum released its "Global Risks 2013" report and included antibiotic resistance and the dwindling arsenal of these drugs as a top global threat, calling for an end to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animal production. Individual countries, most recently the United Kingdom and Australia, have also stepped up to sound the alarm on superbugs and have taken significant strides to regulate use of these drugs within their borders.

Across the Atlantic, the British Parliament recently held a debate on the use of antibiotics in food animal production. Conservative Member of Parliament Zac Goldsmith spoke at length on the worrying connection between their overuse in agriculture and the rise of drug-resistant bacteria in humans, warning that "by overusing antibiotics, we risk ruining for future generations one of the great discoveries of our species."

Additionally, the United Kingdom's Department of Health is currently developing a five-year antimicrobial resistance plan. Goldsmith called on the government to include in this strategy a legally binding timetable to "restrict the prophylactic use of antibiotics, to limit the prescription and use of antimicrobials for the herd treatment of animals to cases in which a vet has assessed that there is a clear clinical justification and to limit the use of critically important antibiotics to cases in which no other type of antimicrobials will be effective."

Australia's Senate is expected to launch an inquiry in March into an expert committee’s 1999 recommendations to combat antibiotic resistance in that country. Until now, the 22 recommendations listed in the committee’s report have largely been ignored. "We've lost over a decade now in terms of our response," lamented Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

Peter Collignon, member of the expert committee and professor of infectious diseases at the Australian National University, cited a lack of political will to stand up to the animal agriculture industry on the issue. Hopefully, the upcoming inquiry will push the Australia government to move forward on the committee’s recommendations and take action to combat the rise of superbugs.

These recent steps, coupled with progress to curb antibiotic overuse in several EU countries including Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, show a growing global consensus on this issue. With more than 40 years of scientific and economic literature on how antibiotic use in food animal production contributes to the growing health crisis of antibiotic resistance, the United States must join the fight. To protect public health, Congress and the Obama administration can start by standing up to Big Ag.

Date added:
Jan 29, 2013


Michael Kirkby (91)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 10:01 am
Vitamin D3; B complex, zinc, magnesium, potassium. Through in some Spirulina and Chlorella. Antibiotics are relied on far too often and the modern diseases will adapt rendering them useless.

Autumn Away S. (151)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 11:07 am
Thanks, JL

JL A. (287)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 11:08 am
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.
You are welcome Autumn.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 11:54 am
yes antibiotics will be useless in time to come as most people i know need two or three courses now just to get rid of a chest infection Its quite frightening really as lots of people died before 1940 or so when it was first given
noted thankyou

JL A. (287)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 12:31 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last week.

Melania Padilla (190)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 2:25 pm

JL A. (287)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 3:10 pm
You are welcome Melania

Terry V. (30)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 6:13 pm
I am allergic to most antibiotics already

JL A. (287)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 6:24 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.

Scott haakon (4)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 7:56 pm
What about the hormones in the food?

JL A. (287)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 7:59 pm
Scott, EU (including UK) are also ahead of the US on addressing hormones:

John B. (194)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 8:51 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post and Kudos to UK, Australia, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands for their actions. On this issue my now deceased grandfather, a down to earth farmer, would say the US is "sucking hind teat" regarding our lack of action. Read and noted

JL A. (287)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 8:59 pm
You're welcome John and thanks for the colloquialism! You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.

D D. (102)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 10:37 pm
Thank you for posting this information.

paul m. (93)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 2:23 am

Thanks for ....

JL A. (287)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 7:14 am
You are welcome Dee and Paul.

Esther Z. (96)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 7:38 am
Noted and signed. There was a link to a petition at the end of the article, or you can hit the "projects" tab on the Pew Campaign website and it will take you to an "actions" page to find several petitions related to Human Health and Industrial Farming. Thanks, J.L. A.

Nancy M. (195)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 12:36 pm
Good news. Thanks.

JL A. (287)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 12:56 pm
You are welcome Nancy. You cannot currently send a star to Nancy because you have done so within the last week.

Natalie V. (27)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 1:52 pm
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