Mom and dads can help end the practice of overuse of antibiotics on food animals
As parents, how many times have we heard, “Do I have to eat this?” When it comes to antibiotics in our food, that answer is no! In honor of moms and future moms, on this Mother’s Day a group of food professionals (moms and dads alike) are asking all of us to take a moment to join the campaign, Moms for Antibiotic Awareness.
For years, as a journalist covering this topic, and as a mom who cares about the health my own and all children, I’ve been hoping that a campaign like this might evolve. The time is here.
Join the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming’s Moms for Antibiotic Awareness, a group of mothers advocating for the reduction of antibiotic-resistant bacteria through phasing out the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in food-animal production.
Doctors warn us to take antibiotics only to treat a bacterial illness. But many large producers of meat and poultry feed these drugs to their healthy food animals simply to offset the effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation, and to promote faster growth. In fact, 70 percent of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. go to food animals that are not sick.
This dangerous practice is helping to breed deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can spread to humans. Children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all told Congress there is a definitive link between the routine, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food-animal production and the crisis of antibiotic resistance in humans.
Become part of Moms for Antibiotic Awareness and take a stand against the overuse of antibiotics in food animal production and help protect your family from the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To join us, visit www.saveantibiotics.org.
I will be writing more on this topic in the coming weeks, talking about:
How dangerous this situation has become for our children
Why the overuse of antibiotics in food production is the equivalent of spooning amoxicillin on your kid’s cereal in the morning
Why food labels dupe us into thinking we are getting antibiotic-free poultry, pork and eggs
Why vegetarians are not exempt from antibiotics resistance, and
What you can do right now at the grocery store to reduce your family’s intake of these medically useful, but unnecessary drugs for food production
In the meantime, please be a campaign supporter and follower on Facebook, Twitter and www.saveantibiotics.org. Better yet, pass this on to your friends (via Facebook, Twitter and otherwise) so they can join in on this important campaign for the future of our health, our children’s health, and even our own parents’ health.
Kimberly Stewart writes about the issue of antibiotic resistance in her book, Eating Between the Lines, the supermarket shopper’s guide to the truth behind food labels (St. Martin’s Press).
Kimberly Lord Stewart is an award-winning investigative food reporter, the former editorial director of Functional Ingredients magazine, and the author of Eating Between the Lines, The Supermarket Shopper’s Guide To The Truth Behind Food Labels.Complete bio.