04/28/2010 - Last year, an estimated 65,000 people in the U.S. were killed by drug-resistant infections—almost the number of people who succumbed to breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Antibiotics are becoming frightfully less effective in treating a host of potentially fatal diseases, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, staph infections and gonorrhea. The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance a "leading threat" to human health.
The cause, scientists agree, is the rampant overuse and misuse of antibiotics inside and outside of medicine. And the only solution, they say, is to reverse that trend by dramatically limiting the use of antibiotics.
In Washington today, a House subcommittee will begin hearings on the growing danger of antibiotic resistance. It will hear testimony on a range of causes, including the overuse of antibiotics by doctors and the failure of patients to use antibiotics properly.
Read the full editorial Ban Antibiotics for Healthy Food Animals on the Chicago Sun Times's Web site.