Pew Campaign Targets Antibiotic Ban Reversal

US - The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming has issued a statement claiming that the misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture helps fuel the increase in antibiotic-resistant infections.
calendar icon 16 December 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

Regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to reverse its plan to ban off-label usage of certain antibiotics in animal agriculture, the trust went on to argue that these important drugs are the only effective therapies for serious gastrointestinal diseases in children and also the best treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections in cancer patients.

"Easing restrictions on the use of cephalosporin on factory farms jeopardizes the effectiveness of these drugs and needlessly imperils our public health," said the statement.

"In addition, the overuse of human antibiotics in farm animals is driving up the cost of healthcare. For example, in 1998 the Institute of Medicine estimated that antibiotic-resistant bacteria generated an estimated $4 billion to $5 billion per year in extra costs to the U.S. healthcare system.

"The incoming Administration and the new head of the FDA need to examine the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. They must take the advice of the doctors and other public health professionals who have raised the alarm about antibiotic misuse and put the health of people - particularly susceptible groups like the elderly and children - ahead of industry profits. Change cannot come soon enough."

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