Factory Farms Are Accelerating an Antibiotics Nightmare

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/food/factory-farms-are-accelerating-antibiotics-nightmar

Science only gets clearer: Factory farms are accelerating an antibiotics nightmare. Political ties help it happen.

By Alexander Zaitchik
January 12, 2014

Every September, the Animal Health Institute, the trade group of the animal pharmaceutical industry, hosts a party on Capitol Hill called Celebrity Pet Night. The AHI describes its signature social event as a night for “members of Congress and their staff — as well as friends of the animal health community — to gather to celebrate America’s pets.” Held in the ornate Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building, the party receives high marks from D.C. society columnists for its classy setting, loaded double bar and zoological star power. Recent guests of honor include the cat Lord Tubbington from “Glee” and the French bulldog from the Robert Downey Jr. buddy-flick bomb “Due Date.”

As the AHI tells it, these animal celebrities “bring awareness to the connection between animal health and human health.” In this way the evening functions as an extension of AHI’s public relations campaign in defense of the factory farm system and the drugs it requires to function. Most people have never heard of that campaign, which is named “Healthy People, Healthy Animals, Healthy Planet.” But it’s well known in the worlds of Big Ag, Big Pharma, and PR. In 2009, not long after Celebrity Pet Night featured Sprinkles the cat from “The Office,” the League of American Communications Professionals awarded AHI’s campaign its Magellan Award for “best community relations campaign under $1 billion.”

Among independent experts who study the links between animal and human health, the AHI campaign doesn’t evoke Magellan so much as Orwell.

There is a near consensus among public health experts that the bulk antibiotics produced by AHI’s member companies are accelerating the approach of a post-antibiotics nightmare scenario, in which superbugs routinely emerge from our farms and wreak havoc on a human population living among the ruins of modern medicine. The bloc of skeptics who view AHI’s mission with mounting anxiety includes Pet Night party poopers like the World Health Organization and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Not long ago these authorities joined the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics in pressing their concerns on Congress  in the form of a letter. “The evidence is so strong of a link between misuse of antibiotics in food animals and human antibiotic resistance,” it stated, “that FDA and Congress should be acting much more boldly and urgently to protect these vital drugs for human illness. Overuse and misuse of important antibiotics in food animals must end.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/food/factory-farms-are-accelerating-antibiotics-nightmar

One Response to “Factory Farms Are Accelerating an Antibiotics Nightmare”

  1. Bonze Anne Rose Blayk Says:

    Sick, sick, sick.

    Just from the perspective of public health, It’s appalling that they are allowed to get away with this… and if you consider that the dosing of animals with antibiotics in factory farming is necessitated in part by the inhumane conditions in which they are kept, it’s an atrocity.

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