Press Release

President’s Advisory Council on Antibiotic Resistance Fails to Reduce Overuse in Livestock

Council’s One-Year Progress Report Reveals Action Needed to Stop Drug-Resistant Infections
Kate Kiely, kkiely@nrdc.org, 212-727-4592 or cell: 917-553-5099

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2016) – A one-year progress report released today by President Obama’s Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria reveals federal experts have so far failed to address one of the main drivers behind the epidemic: overuse of human antibiotics in livestock, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

About 70 percent of all antibiotics of human importance sold in the U.S. are for use in food animals, often to promote growth and prevent disease in animals that are not sick, as a substitute for poor living conditions and diets. And sales of antibiotics for use in food animals continues to rise — up 22 percent from 2009 to 2014.

A statement from Dr. David Wallinga, MD, Senior Health Officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, follows:

“Where’s the beef? One year later, the President’s action plan still fails to deliver on reducing use of human antibiotics in livestock. The President’s key advisors must take a step back and address the fundamental flaws in the current plan. Chief among these is the lack of a specific target for reducing antibiotics sales for use in livestock. Without clear and ambitious goals, we are one step closer to a future where we can no longer count on our miracle drugs to work when we’re at death’s door.”

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