This week, in a two-part series, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric took a revealing look at the dangerous U.S. agribusiness practice of feeding antibiotics to billions of farm animals virtually every day of their lives (see part one and two of the special report).
The antibiotics are laced in the feed and water of the animals as a crutch to try to counteract the stressful, overcrowded, and unhygienic conditions on these industrial operations. Because routinely dosing the feed of farm animals with antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance, the practice has been condemned by the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among more than 300 organizations nationwide that have endorsed legislation to phase out this reckless practice that jeopardizes sick people and animals. Antibiotic resistant infections now kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.
In Congress, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (S. 619/H.R. 1549) has been introduced to put an end to the dangerous non-therapeutic use of important antibiotics in the feed and water of farm animals, but it is facing stiff resistance from agribusiness, the pharmaceutical lobby, and the agribusiness-friendly American Veterinary Medical Association. Take a look at the CBS stories below.