Antibiotic resistance is one of the top five threats to public health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year in the US:
- 2 million Americans contract antibiotic resistant infections.
- 23,000 Americans die of those infections.
- $55 billion are lost due to excess hospital costs and lost productivity.
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics that are important for human medicine (“medically important antibiotics”) in both hospitals and livestock production is contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that put public health at risk.
70% of the medically important antibiotics sold in the US are sold for use to raise chickens, hogs, and cattle on factory farms, not for humans.
- Most of these antibiotics are NOT used to treat sick animals.
- Most of these antibiotics ARE used to make the animals grow faster or to compensate for the unsanitary and crowded conditions on the factory farms.
The Food and Drug Administration is encouraging companies to stop selling medically important antibiotics for these growth promotion uses, but is allowing them to continue using them to compensate for the conditions on the factory farms. This allows producers to still give entire low doses of antibiotics on a routine basis herd- or flock-wide, the most risky practice for developing antibiotic resistant bacteria.
These antibiotic resistant bacteria can then contaminate farmers, workers, our food, air, and water. This means that the very medicines that we rely on to treat infections, for chemotherapy, organ transplants, dialysis, and major surgery (to name a few) are on the verge of not working when we reach for them.
We need to close this loophole and stop the routine, low dose use of antibiotics on factory farms.
Join our campaign to stop the misuse of antibiotics in factory farms.