For Immediate Release
Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org
To Address Crisis of Antibiotic Resistance, We Must Curb Overuse in Industrial Agriculture
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
“Today President Obama announced steps to address the rise of antibiotic resistance. While this is a welcome development, these efforts will be fruitless unless steps are taken to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.
“80 percent of the antibiotics used in the United States are used on factory farms. Every year, over two million Americans suffer from antibiotic resistant infections, and 23,000 people die from them. The Food and Drug Administration has been aware of the problems associated with the misuse of these critical, life saving drugs since at least 1977, but has not required factory farms to stop misusing them.
“Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that curbing the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms would address this public health crisis and help maintain the effectiveness of these critical, life saving drugs, the meat industry continues to lobby to weaken regulations.
“That is why we need federal legislation like the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act in the House of Representatives, and the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act in the Senate, to end the overuse of medically important antibiotics in livestock production. Congress should also pass the Pathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act, which would designate antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella and campylobacter as adulterants in meat, poultry, and egg products. Only then can we hope to combat this escalating public health crisis.”
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