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CDC Report Shows Growing Threat Posed By Antibiotic Resistance
Date:9/16/2013

he common cold, and eye and ear infections.  

Some 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used not on humans but on animals -- mostly livestock that aren't sick.  Consumers Union believes that to preserve antibiotics for treatment of disease in people, they should only be used on animals that are sick.  Consumers Union has long urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Congress to prohibit antibiotic use except for treatment of sick animals.    

In addition, Consumers Union has called on major supermarkets to address this public health crisis by ending the sale in their stores of any meat or poultry that comes from animals routinely fed antibiotics for growth promotion or disease prevention--and is asking Trader Joe's to lead the way.  

"We shouldn't waste antibiotics to make animals grow faster or to prevent disease," said Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union.  "Humans don't take antibiotics to prevent disease and neither should healthy farm animals."  

The CDC's report estimates that 23,000 Americans die annually as a direct result of antibiotic resistant infections and most of those are due to health care-acquired infections. 

Many more die from conditions that were complicated by such infections.  In addition, 250,000 are hospitalized with Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections and 14,000 patients die from them.  According to the CDC, the use of antibiotics is a major contributing factor in these C. difficile infections.

"Most deaths from antibiotic resistant infections are from infections picked up by patients while they are being treated in the hospital or other health care settings," said

SOURCE Consumers Union
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