Please ban the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms

Dear President Obama,

As health organizations, doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, we are deeply concerned about the threat to public health caused by the widespread overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

We strongly urge you to direct the Food and Drug Administration to ban the practice of regularly giving antibiotics to healthy animals. Antibiotics are meant to be given in precise doses to treat specific types of infections. However, the largest users of antibiotics are actually factory farming operations, which routinely mix huge quantities of antibiotics into the feed they give healthy animals. Up to 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are used on livestock.

This practice increases the likelihood that all kinds of bacteria, including the ones that make people sick, will become resistant to drugs, and our life-saving medicines won't work. This problem is both significant and worsening. Sixty percent of staph infections in hospitals are now resistant to antibiotics, up from 2 percent thirty years ago. In all, more than 2 million Americans get sick from antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and 23,000 people die. We stand to lose antibiotics as a critical tool to treat our patients and save lives.

Please ban the widespread overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

Sincerely,

Irene Cadwell - NCPIRG Program Director

Steve Shore, Executive Director, NC Pediatric Society

NC Pediatric Society Foundation

NC Community Health Care Association

Dr. Ben Money, NCCHCA