Press Release, Opinion

''It is Vital That We Monitor Antibiotic Use in Livestock''

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"It used to be easy to treat healthy children with common bacterial infections; a regimen of antibiotic pills could usually wipe out the disease. Today, patients might need to go home on intravenous antibiotics because oral therapies will no longer work. Antibiotic resistance is to blame.

The principle behind the development of antimicrobial resistance is simple: exposing bacteria to antibiotics favors organisms that can resist them. The process is inevitable, but we can slow it down.

Hospitals across the country are implementing antimicrobial conservation initiatives. Doctors, pharmacists and administrators are working together to use antibiotics less and, ultimately, to keep superbugs at bay. Yet, standing in stark contrast, meat and poultry producers continue to feed these drugs to healthy animals just to accelerate their growth."

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"On Tuesday, concerned parents and scientists traveled to Washington and met with our representatives in Congress and officials from the Obama administration. Our statement was clear: We all share a responsibility to control the emergence of antibiotic resistance and to preserve antibiotics for our generation and the generations to come. As health care initiatives are implemented to control antibiotic use in humans, these practices must be extended to livestock, as well. Specifically, we urged Congress and the FDA to regulate and monitor antibiotic use in agriculture, and to eliminate practices that present the most urgent threat to the public's health, such as using the drugs as growth promoters."