FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf:
Nearly two-thirds of the antibiotics sold in the United States that are considered important to human medicine actually go to meat producers — a practice that imposes long-term costs on public health by breeding drug-resistant bacteria that can escape from farms and make people sick.
We know that efforts to stop antibiotic overuse work. A recent study in Canada highlighted how eliminating prophylactic use of antibiotics can reduce the development of some antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food animals, and the past few years have seen a major shift away from antibiotic use in the U.S. chicken industry.
But there’s much more that needs to be done. Without bold action, the global death toll for antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” could be up to 10 million annually by 2050. We, the undersigned, urge you to eliminate preventative use of medically important antibiotics in food animal production in the U.S.