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Katy Farber's picture

cow80 percent of antibiotics used in this country are used for food animals. What is wrong with that picture?

1.  The more we use them, the less effective they become. According to the Center for Food Safety and Save Antibiotics, drugs become less effective, and bacteria more resistant with overuse. So while antibiotics have saved hundreds of  thousands of lives, if they are used for food animals regularly, this might not always be the case.

2. Antibiotics are routinely administered to healthy animals in order to speed growth and compensate for unsanitary conditions. The use of antibiotics is not to protect the health of the animals in many cases. It's quite the opposite. To cope with the often unhumane conditions in many factory farms, antibioitcs are used to keep animals from getting sick.

3. The increase of superbugs will harm our kids. posted a heartbreaking story of a mother who lost her 1 and a 1/2 year old son to a superbug. She is now speaks out about antibiotic overuse and wants to protect other families. This post will put this problem in perspective.

4. Superbugs travel widely. According to the Center for Food Safety they can cross rivers and oceans, hitch rides on insects and people. Overuse anywhere breeds resistance everywhere. Superbugs travel in food (especially meat), by air and water, and by the travel of livestock workers. 

5. Each year in the US about 2 million people are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria and 23,000 people die as a direct result.  This is a public health crisis  that we can fix through legislative action to protect antibiotics for use in humans.

6. To protect the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, like those being treated for cancer. These populations are more at risk for catching a superbug that is resistant to antibiotics.

These topics were discussed at a #EcoTipTue-- MomsRising's weekly chat on Twitter. Every week we take on a new subject concerning toxics, climate change, and children's health. This week our guests were Center for Food Safety and Save Antibiotics.

We must work together with doctors, nurses, parents, farmers, veterinarians and leaders to make sure we save antibiotics for when they are really needed-- in bacterial illnesses where there is human or animal suffering-- not so more animals can be produced for food inhumanely.



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