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Health Professionals Ask President Obama and FDA to End Non-Therapeutic Use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture in a Letter Co-Sponsored by Health Care Without Harm
Date:6/4/2013

Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 04, 2013

Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), Healthy Food Action, and the Pew Charitable Trusts delivered a letter with signatures from 795 health professionals to President Barack Obama today, urging him to pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act on stalled policies to reduce the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animal production.

"Current patterns of antibiotic use in agriculture not only increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections in people but also support an agricultural system that harms public and environmental health," says Ted Schettler, MD, Science Director for the Science and Environmental Health Network and Science Advisor for HCWH.

Close to 30 million pounds of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in animal agriculture. Most of these are used for non-therapeutic purposes like promoting growth and compensating for overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions. Many of these antibiotics are also medically important, and used to treat illnesses in humans.

“There is overwhelming scientific consensus that overuse of antibiotics in livestock is a health hazard to people,” says Thomas Newman, MD, a member of the faculty at the School of Medicine at University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. More than 300 leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have advocated ending the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics as feed additives.

"The antibiotic resistance crisis is growing worse each day. Phy
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