Ask Obama to Create Task Force to Stop Overuse of Antibiotics on Farm Animals

  • by: Susan V
  • recipient: President Obama

A report by Mother Jones says Americans are now eating less meat, and the number of cows and pigs raised over the last few years has declined. But the use of antibiotics on farm animals has increased during that time.

In fact, based on an assessment by the FDA, sales of medically important antibiotics used on farm animals increased 23% from 2009 through 2014. What’s most “disheartening” about this report, says MJ, is that even though, beginning in 2012, FDA put forth considerable effort to encourage voluntary reduction of antibiotic use by the industry, the next year it still rose by 3%.

Even worse, this news comes in the wake of reports from the UK that a strain of E. Coli bacteria in China has become prematurely resistant to what is considered the antibiotic of last resort – Colistin.

Add to this serious concern MJ’s report that the American Academy of Pediatrics,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are warning that the meat industry's overuse of drugs is contributing to "a growing crisis in antibiotic-resistant pathogens" that kill 23,000 Americans yearly and 700,000 globally.

Despite that the world may be on the brink of a health crisis, it seems clear the industry will not do enough on its own to curb its overuse of antibiotics. Therefore urgent action is needed from our leaders.

Sign this petition to ask Obama to create a joint task force between the FDA and USDA charged with detailing the threat posed by overuse of antibiotics on farms and developing actionable recommendations to dramatically reduce their use.

 Dear President Obama;

As this petition overview explains, there are at least three justified reasons for you to take action to prevent what some are calling an antibiotic apocalypse – a crisis of epic proportion that could result if immediate action is not taken to curtail the unnecessary and overuse of antibiotics.

On top of reports that the meat industry has increased use of medically important antibiotics, despite a decline in meat consumption, are concerns that this habit is already contributing to a growing crisis in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that is killing hundreds of thousands already.

If the newly developed colistin-resistance is not prevented from spreading this “antibiotic of last resort” will no longer be available to fall back on when others fail.

Based on the Mother Jone’s report and the FDA assessment of use over the past few years it seems evident that self-regulation by the industry may not ensure that the public is adequately protect from these growing health risks.

We, the undersigned, therefore request that you take immediate action and work with FDA and USDA to develop a plan to dramatically decrease the use of antibiotics in meat production

Thanks for your prompt attention to these very serious health concerns.

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