Health Care, Food Safety and Antibiotics

Date: July 21, 2009

The Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Philadelphia, PA 19103


On July 21 in Philadelphia, the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Center for Environmental Policy and The Pew Charitable Trusts will convene health, agriculture and environmental experts for a special town hall meeting on the human health impacts related to the routine use of antibiotics on industrial farms.

Free public town hall meeting on the routine use of antibiotics in food animal production to include question and answer session

The Academy of Natural Sciences Auditorium 
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Tuesday, July 21
Reception: 6:00 PM
Program: 6:30-8:30 PM


  • Shelley A. Hearne, Dr. P.H., managing director, Pew Health Group
  • Robert P. Martin, senior officer, Pew Environment Group and former executive director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production
  • David Velinsky, Ph.D., vice president, Academy of Natural Sciences and Director, Patrick Center for Environmental Research
  • Thomas Fekete, M.D., professor of medicine, Section Chief of Infectious Diseases, Temple University School of Medicine
  • Brian Snyder, executive director, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Many public health officials and medical organizations are concerned about the rising incidence of antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S.  According to the Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (co-chaired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health), unless antibiotic-resistance “problems are detected as they emerge—and actions are taken quickly to contain them—the world may soon be faced with previously treatable diseases that have again become untreatable, as in the pre-antibiotic era.”

A major contributor to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is the misuse of antibiotics on industrial farms.  Important human drugs are fed to herds or flocks at low doses, often over long periods of time, creating ideal breeding ground for new and dangerous bacteria. 

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