Overusing antibiotics breeds bacteria resistant to those antibiotics, threatening the future effectiveness of these medicines and putting our health at risk. According to new research, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” killed at least 1.2 million people worldwide in 2019 — more than the previous annual estimate by over half a million.
Given the stakes, we should be doing everything in our power to safeguard these lifesaving medicines. Yet, nearly two-thirds of medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for use on factory farms — and often given to animals that aren’t even sick. We need to stop the agricultural practices that lead to this misuse of our life-saving medicines.
We know we can get factory farms to change their practices if America’s largest restaurant chains commit to serving meat that has been raised without the routine use of medically important antibiotics. And we know we can get our lawmakers to craft and enforce health-based policies if enough people raise their voices to make it happen.
Help us call on decision-makers and major meat buyers to protect our lifesaving antibiotics.
Food & Agriculture, Advocate, PIRG
State Director, CALPIRG Education Fund
Managing Director, Frontier Group; Senior Vice President, The Public Interest Network