Ban antibiotics for healthy farm animals

Strep throat and pneumonia have become routine infections for doctors to treat with antibiotics. Yet, the more we use these miracle drugs, the bacteria become more resistant to the drugs.

Although doctors are taking precautions while prescribing antibiotics, more than 70 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for livestock. Animals consuming these antibiotics may or may not even be sick, yet they receive a dose as a preventive measure to fight against unsanitary conditions and for growth promotion.

While canvassing restaurants with Illinois PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), it was clear that doctors and environmental groups are not alone in their interest for limiting antibiotic-ridden livestock. I was excited to see restaurant owners eagerly sign on to our letter to President Barack Obama asking him to ban the practice of giving antibiotics to healthy farm animals. As someone who believes food is medicine, eating meat riddled with antibiotics was not quite what I had in mind. While the medical community is on the front lines of the problem, it’s also important to show President Obama that the food industry is also behind the campaign to ban the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms to keep our antibiotics effective.

Steph Wynn
Wilmette, Illinois

From the Nov. 12-18, 2014, issue

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