Concern is growing that the overuse of antibiotics is creating drug-resistant “super bugs” that pose a serious risk to public health. The White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship is being held Tuesday, June 2, 2015 to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics. At the forum, representatives from food companies, retailers, drugmakers, farmers, medical societies, and others involved in human and animal health will discuss limiting the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, animal feed, and humans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug-resistant bacteria, which stop responding to the medicines designed to kill them, cause two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. President Obama has said that such drug-resistant bacteria are currently one of the most serious public health issues.
CDC director Thomas Frieden said that antibiotic resistance
may be the single most important infectious disease threat of our time. If we lose antibiotics, the medicine chest will be empty and it will not only undermine our ability to treat routine infections, but it will undermine much of modern medicine. We risk turning back the clock to a world where simple infections can be fatal just as they were a century ago.”
Frieden said that one third to one half of all antibiotic use currently is either unnecessary or overly broad.
The single most important thing we can do is for every one of us to change the way antibiotics are prescribed and used,”
Frieden advised. The White House said Tuesday that many federal cafeterias will start purchasing meat and poultry with fewer antibiotics later this year, a directive that would apply to all civilian government restaurants by 2020.
Read more here- “Federal cafeterias will reduce meat with antibiotics” (AP, CBS News)