Chesapeake PSR

Health professionals can help curb farm animal antibiotics overuse

Toxics and HealthLydia SullivanComment

Antibiotics overuse in farm animals used for food production is harmful to human health, wrote Tim Whitehouse, Chesapeake PSR executive director, in a letter on behalf of Fair Farms Maryland. And he said doctors and other health professionals have a role to play in reducing antibiotics overuse.

"Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant human health issues of our generation—and it is completely avoidable if we take proper precautionary steps," he said. Chesapeake PSR supports "reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics in animals and livestock" as one of the most critical steps we can take in ensuring public health—one we have to take now. 

Whitehouse wrote, "We were thrilled to see that just weeks ago the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), a statewide professional association for licensed physicians, issued a strong resolution in support of 'curbing routine antibiotic use in food production.'"

"MedChi’s resolution is significant because health care professionals tend to be very cautious when involving themselves in political issues. However, health care professionals know this isn’t a political issue – it’s a public health issue that affects every medical professional and every person in this country."

Scientists & health care professionals: Click here to add your name to the letter to support reining in the overuse of medically important antibiotics in animal agriculture.

The U.S. has been slow to rein in irresponsible antibiotics use in agriculture that other countries have taken on with urgency. It's our turn. Industry interests are "too often allowed to trump public health," said Whitehouse.

"As health professionals, our work shouldn’t just be about treating the problem, but also about preventing the problem," he said. "So, if you’re a nurse or a doctor, a physician assistant or scientist, a pharmacist or public health researcher or any health care professional promoting public health, please join Fair Farms in urging the Maryland General Assembly to pass a strong statewide law.

Click here to add your name to the letter.

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