A month ago, the Centers for Disease Control released a major report on antibiotic resistance. The report made some educated guesses about how antibiotic resistance directly affects us: “At least two million Americans fall ill from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year, and . . . at least 23,000 die from those infections.”
The report noted that the rise in antibiotic resistance in humans was connected to the overuse of antibiotics on livestock farms, but concluded that hospitals are breeding more aggressive bugs than farms. On Mother Jones, Tom Philpott reprinted some crisp infographics from the CDC and offered up a trenchant warning: Pharmaceutical companies aren't investing in developing new and better antibiotics, which means that once our current antibiotics don’t work anymore, we’ll have no drugs left to help fight off infections.
Food activist Dan Imhoff is currently circulating a petition asking Walmart to stop purchasing meat from farms that use antibiotics to stimulate growth instead of fighting disease. If, as Philpott noted, the FDA isn’t doing anything about antibiotics on farms, maybe consumers can.
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