Tuesday, February 17, 2015

STOP THE OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS ON FACTORY FARMS

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It’s Time to Save Antibiotics

At least 23,000 Americans die every year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the widespread overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is making them less effective. Medical experts, including from the World Health Organization, now warn that if we don’t stop the overuse of antibiotics they could stop working — with potentially grave consequences for public health.

Antibiotics are meant to be given in precise doses to treat specific types of infections. When they are used in mass quantities by farming operations it increases the likelihood that all kinds of bacteria, including the ones that make people sick, will develop resistance, and our life saving medicines won’t work.

We must urge President Obama’s task force to push for more stringent regulations about antibiotic use on factory farms in their five-year action plan. Join our effort to convince the Obama Administration to stop the overuse of antibiotics on healthy farm animals!



OUR HEALTH AT RISK

If you’re like most Americans, you have probably relied on antibiotics to treat an illness. Maybe it was a simple ear infection, or strep throat. Or maybe you, or someone in your family, had to rely on antibiotics to treat a potentially life-threatening illness like pneumonia or a post-surgery infection.

We assume that when we get an infectious illness the antibiotics our doctors prescribe will help us get better. But medical experts, including from the World Health Organization, now warn that if we don’t stop the overuse of antibiotics they could stop working — with potentially grave consequences for public health.

FACTORY FARMS ARE RECKLESSLY OVERUSING LIFE-SAVING DRUGS

Despite the threat to public health, many large factory farms are giving huge quantities of antibiotics to livestock. Why? It’s not just about treating animals that are sick. It’s also about preventing disease often caused by crowded and unsanitary conditions. Farming operations have also discovered that by giving a regular dose of antibiotics to their animals, it makes them grow bigger, faster. And now more than 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are sold for use on livestock.

INCREASING ALARM FROM PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS

The calls for action from the public health community are growing louder, and more urgent. For instance, in a recent report the World Health Organization wrote: “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.” And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that “Much of the antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary and inappropriate and makes everyone less safe.”

CALLING ON THE 
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE ACTION

In September, President Obama issued an executive order to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. However, it didn’t go far enough to recommend tougher measures against antibiotic overuse on factory farms, and instead focused on creating incentives for development of new drugs, tighter regulation of existing ones, and improvements in tracking and monitoring antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is a good thing, but we need to do more. We have between now and when his task force delivers a five-year action plan, to push for more stringent regulations about antibiotic use on factory farms.


With thousands of Americans dying, and millions more getting sick from antibiotic resistant infections every year, ending the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is a commonsense step. Yet big agribusinesses, and the pharmaceutical companies that supply antibiotics to farming operations, are lobbying hard to keep the current, weak voluntary rules.

Please help end the harmful overuse antibiotics.

Subject: Stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms
I am concerned that the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is putting public health at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that, already, more than 2 million people per year fall ill from drug-resistant infections. Please stand up for public health, and direct the FDA to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

PSA Content: "Antibiotics are a miracle of modern medicine, and are designed to be given in precise doses, to treat specific illnesses and infections. But once big farming operations discovered that a regular dose of antibiotics promoted rapid growth and prevented disease in their livestock, they started to routinely put lifesaving medicines into the daily feed of healthy animals.

The result? Bacteria that come into contact with those animals grow resistant to antibiotics. We can be exposed to these bacteria through our food, water and the air we breathe, putting us at risk of getting an infection that antibiotics may no longer treat. Already 2 million people fall ill, and 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections.


Please tell the Obama administration to protect public health, by directing the FDA to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms."


By 

Jai Krishna Ponnappan

About NJPIRG



AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR CONSUMERS

NJPIRG is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.
For decades, we’ve stood up for consumers, countering the influence of big banks, insurers, chemical manufacturers and other powerful special interests.

For more info on this issue, Please visit USPIRGEdFund.org/abx 

FILM CREDITS:
Director: Quinn Wilson
Producer: Caullen Hudson
Producer/PIRG Advocate; Dev Gowda
Director Of Photography: Jamieson Mulholland
Assistant Camera: Allen Lee
Gaffer: Mark Barry and Amy Limpinyakul
Key Grip: Colin Heffernan
Sound: Tim Calistro
Art/Music: Julia Luckenbill
Assistant Director: Phil Bogdan
Production Assistant: Victoria Burchinow
Editor: Ryan Brennan
Sound Mix: Tim Calisto
Graphics/VFX: Dave Johnson
Color: Kelly Armstrong
Camera Vendor: Teletech Video
G&E Vendor: Sem-Q Productions

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