FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 19, 2013
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Farm Aid: CDC Antibiotic Resistance Report Confirms Health Threat From Factory Farms
Family Farm Organization Calls on FDA to Take Swift Regulatory Action
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. — In response to the first-ever Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on antibiotic resistance, released earlier this week, Farm Aid issued a statement from the site of its annual benefit concert, scheduled for Sept. 21, calling for further investigation of factory farm-related health issues and an immediate curtailing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of non-therapeutic antibiotic use in food-producing animals, as recommended by the CDC.
The new CDC report, “Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013,” affirms that the factory farm approach to food production puts our health in danger. For years, Farm Aid has worked alongside family farmers to bring attention to the risks associated with taking animals off the land and confining them together in massive production facilities. We have already seen some of the consequences of factory farming, including diminished air and water quality and the loss of family farms and communities across the country. Now we have confirmation that this unsafe system is seriously threatening the health of all Americans. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics in industrial animal production is causing the spread of deadly drug-resistant pathogens in humans, including Campylobacter and Salmonella — collectively, the source of more than 400,000 infections per year.
The costs of factory farming are too dire to ignore. We can’t afford an industrial food system that produces cheap food, propped up by dangerous practices that make people sick. Farm Aid urges the FDA to immediately act in the interest of the public by using its authority to enforce the CDC recommendations to limit antibiotic use in industrial farms. This should be the first step in a stronger move to research and report the health threats from factory farms, both to animals and humans.
Farm Aid encourages everyone who eats to stand with family farmers by holding the government accountable for creating policies and enforcing regulations that ensure a safe and healthy food system for all.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $43 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.