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Salem, OR - A bill to protect the efficacy of life-saving antibiotics by stopping their overuse on healthy animals failed to meet a legislative deadline to move out of committee today. The lack of action comes after months of lobbying from industrial farms and out-of-state pharmaceutical companies.
According to the CDC, 2 million people are sickened every year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria and 23,000 die. A recent study estimates that by 2050, more people could die from antibiotic-resistant superbugs than cancer. Charlie Fisher, State Director of the consumer group, OSPIRG, issued the following statement:
“The legislature’s lack of action on SB 785 puts Oregonians at greater risk of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The overwhelming consensus of the medical community, in Oregon and around the country, is that we have can’t wait any longer to address this issue. It’s well documented that superbugs developed on the farm easily travel into the human population through air, water, food, and soil.”
“Industry misleadingly claims that recent FDA regulations solve the problem, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Factory farms will still be able to routinely dose health animals with antibiotics to ‘prevent disease,’ when doing so is exactly what the medical community says is a breeding ground for superbugs. Many large poultry producers like Tyson Foods and Perdue Chicken have recently voluntarily started to phase out routine antibiotics on their farms, proving this is a sensible practice that is smart for business and public health.”
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