Pittsburgh, PA and Cleveland, OH have passed resolutions calling for a nationwide ban on non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock products.
The move comes just after Providence, RI and Seattle, WA passed similar resolutions already this year.
According to the Pittsburgh City Paper, reports Food Safety News, “council members there were “among the first in the country” to pass such a resolution, which was requested by Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer rights group that has been active in trying to pass related measures in Congress.”
FWW’s Alison Auciello said in a statement, “Factory farms feed low doses of antibiotics to livestock to promote unnatural growth and to compensate for filthy, crowded living conditions. As a result, we’re entering an age in which these life-saving medicines are no longer working to treat infections in humans.”
These bills are Protection of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) in the U.S. House and the Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance Act (PARA) in the U.S. Senate.
“Opponents of legislation to ban or restrict non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock say that antibiotics are a useful tool for keeping livestock healthy and that there is little to no evidence that restricting or eliminating their use in food-producing animals would improve human health,” explained Food Safety News.
Groups including the Animal Health Institute, made up of members of the pharmaceutical industry, government approval for drugs used in livestock product is a stricter process than for human drugs.
But opponents say that the risk of antibiotics in livestock feed are too great already, with antibiotic resistance putting human lives at risk. “In a recent report, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that over two million people per year suffer from antibiotic-resistant infections, and at least 23,000 people die from them,” Auciello said.
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