The United States is currently suffering a massive outbreak of drug-resistant Salmonella that was traced to Foster Farms, a chicken producer in California. So far, it has infected 481 people in 25 states and involves seven strains of bacteria. All seven are resistant to antibiotics.
How did this happen?
Right now, 80% of antibiotics made in the U.S. are fed to factory farmed animals to make them grow faster and larger. These drugs become part of the manure that's used as fertilizer on vegetables, and eventually end up in our food. So bacteria have countless opportunities to be exposed to low levels of these drugs, at concentrations that don't kill them but help them become resistant. And when humans show up to hospitals with resistant infections, these drugs no longer work.
Last March, Representative Louise Slaughter introduced a bill called PAMTA to address this issue:
"Within two years of enactment, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to re-review the approvals it previously issued for animal feed uses of the seven classes of antibiotics that are important to human medicine. The approvals would be canceled for any antibiotics that are found to be unsafe from a resistance point of view."
But so far, 88% of the lobbying done on this bill has been against it-- after all, very few people besides meat manufacturers and agricultural companies have even heard of it. This lobbying has been so effective that the bill has been referred to committee and forgotten for more than a year. But if it gets enough awareness and support and Congress can no longer ignore it, it can still move forward in the Senate... help make this happen!
Please sign this petition, and tell Congressional Representative Glenn Thompson that we, as consumers, care about what goes into our food!