End the Abuse of Antibiotics in Animal Feed

For years, Farm Aid has been warning about the dangers of industrial or “factory farm” livestock operations and their impact on family farms, the environment and our health. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may weaken regulations and make it even easier for agribusiness to feed antibiotics to healthy livestock and poultry, putting our health at greater risk and propping up the industrial system of livestock production.

Chickens, pigs, and beef cattle raised on industrial farms are routinely fed antibiotics to make them grow faster and compensate for overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions. In other words, to keep industrial farms as productive and profitable as possible, otherwise healthy animals are fed a diet of drugs — the same drugs we rely on to keep ourselves and our families in good health. This overuse of antibiotics creates stronger and more drug-resistant bacteria that can cause tragic results. Serious, painful illnesses and even death are too often the outcome in both vulnerable and healthy individuals.

Don't let the irresponsible use of antibiotics continue to give industrial factory farms an unfair advantage over family farmers who manage their animals more responsibly. Antibiotics have a place on the farm — when they're needed to treat sick animals — not to promote a system that puts us all at risk.

On August 26, 2011, Farm Aid along with a coalition of family farm and consumer groups, submitted more than 180,000 letters as part of the official FDA comment period. Although the formal comment process has now closed, we will continue to collect and submit signatures to demonstrate the overwhelming public support for responsible livestock care and protecting human health by limiting antibiotic use in animal feed.

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