A new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) finally calls out what scientists have known for years but which has only been talked about in hushed tones: We have to curb antibiotic use in this country.
More than 2 million people get antibiotic-resistant infections and, worse, 23,000 die from them each year. This report calls for phasing out antibiotics in livestock production that have been linked to antibiotic resistant bacteria.
“Up to half of antibiotic use in humans and much of antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary,” says the report. Avoiding consumption of residual antibiotics is a big reason many consumers choose organic meats and dairy, especially for children. The USDA Organic standards do not allow antibiotic use in animal production unless other treatments are unsuccessful. If used, the animal cannot be sold as organic.
“Statistics released by FDA show that animal production uses over 29 million pounds of antibiotics annually,” says Jessica Shade, Ph.D., director of science programs at the Organic Center (TOC), in a press release issued by the non-profit. “If everyone chose just one organic product out of every 10 they purchased, we could eliminate over 2.5 million pounds of unnecessary antibiotic use each year. That could go a long way in reducing the development of antibiotic resistance.”