The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week released new guidelines intended to curb the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animal production. While the release of these documents is a welcome step, we need your help because several improvements are needed to address serious gaps in these measures. Please take a moment and urge the FDA to improve these documents and safeguard these critical drugs from overuse and misuse on industrial farms. Please also post this action alert on your Facebook page and tweet about it to your followers.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry for the Supermoms Against Superbugs contest! We received an overwhelming number of excellent entries making our decision that much harder. We have selected 30 moms (dads, grandparents, and others concerned about their families' health) to join us in Washington, D.C. for a day of advocacy on May 15, 2012. Our “Supermoms” have a personal story to share—whether they are pediatricians, farmers, chefs, or stay-at-home parents—and will be working to raise awareness about the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animal production and its impact on human health.
Our “Supermoms” will meet with government and public health leaders to discuss the best ways to improve new draft guidelines issued by the FDA intended to reduce antibiotic overuse on industrial farms. For those not attending the day's activities in person, we hope you will be able to participate in a virtual advocacy day. Stay tuned for more information about how to get involved -- no planes, trains, or automobiles required, just a computer with an Internet connection, a smart phone, or a tablet.
Be sure to check out the Supermoms Against Superbugs Advocacy Day event page to meet our Supermoms!
Thank you again to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to submit an entry. We look forward to inviting you to participate in future events like Supermoms Against Superbugs!
As mentioned in previous newsletters, the FDA published an updated rule in January 2012 that would limit the uses of cephalosporins in food animal production. The order went into effect on April 5, 2012. First discovered more than 60 years ago, cephalosporins have become a vital class of antibiotics for treating people suffering from bacterial meningitis; infections associated with cancer; and infections of the bone, urinary tract, and upper respiratory system. These drugs are especially important for treating children.
This restriction is a victory for human health, as it will help ensure this critically important class of antibiotics will continue to work to treat life-threatening infections today and in the future. Again, thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a comment letter to the FDA. With your support, we were able to demonstrate that there is great concern across the country about the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in industrial farming and that action must be taken to protect these life-saving drugs.
On May 10, The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming and The Healthy Schools Campaign will host a briefing on Capitol Hill focused on the rising demand in public school districts for meat and poultry products raised without antibiotics. The event will highlight the recent commitment of Chicago Public Schools—the third largest school district in the United States—to serve 1.2 million pounds of chicken raised without antibiotics to more than 300,000 school children this year. The briefing will review how this collaborative initiative came about and discuss ways to expand the effort to other school districts throughout the country. For more information on the briefing, contact Katie Portnoy at firstname.lastname@example.org.