House and Senate to Host Expert Discussions on Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture

Mar 06, 2012, 11:12 ET from Center for Science in the Public Interest

CSPI To Release White Paper on Outbreaks from Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Thursday the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future will lead discussions among scientific experts on the inappropriate use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.  CSPI will release a white paper analyzing 38 outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to pathogens that exhibited antibiotic resistance.  Last year, antibiotic-resistant pathogens on meat and poultry products sparked three major outbreaks, causing 167 reported illnesses and one death.  Emerging evidence also indicates that farmers, their families, and others who live and work near livestock and poultry farms are at increased risk of contracting resistant infections.

Honorary Hosts:
Rep. Louise Slaughter and Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Caroline Smith DeWaal (Center for Science in the Public Interest)
Dr. Robert S. Lawrence (Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future)

Dr. Jim R. Johnson (University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Society of America)
Dr. Stuart Levy (Tufts University School of Medicine, Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics)
Dr. Lance Price (TGen Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health)
Dr. Tara Smith (University of Iowa College of Public Health)

"The Science Is Clear: Inappropriate Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture Threatens Public Health." 
Presentations and discussions regarding antibiotic resistance. 

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 8, 2012
2168 Rayburn House Office Building

2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 8, 2012
208 Senate Visitors Center    

Research has shown that the daily dosing of healthy food animals with antibiotics to promote growth (and prevent infection that could arise from unsanitary conditions) is a major reason for the rise in drug-resistant bacteria.  These bacteria can spread on farms, through air and water, and in food to infect humans.  Current agricultural use of antibiotics contributes to the rising trend of antibiotic-resistance and the spread of superbugs that are harder and more expensive to treat.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a nonprofit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition and food safety. CSPI is supported largely by the 850,000 U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and by foundation grants.

SOURCE Center for Science in the Public Interest