It seems the era of feeding large volumes of antibiotics to chickens to promote growth and prevent disease is on its way out. Tyson Foods announced it will join fellow producers, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride, and large buyers, such as McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, and Chipotle, in sharply reducing use in chickens of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine.
CGD Policy Blogs
The human health costs of losing antibiotics as an effective treatment for infectious disease would be enormous. President Obama recognizes this and has made combating the challenge an administration priority.
A key component of any strategy for combating the global health threat posed by antibiotic resistance, including President Obama's, is to reduce the overuse and misuse of these vital drugs.
The US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is catching flack for recommending that Americans consider the environmental consequences of eating so many burgers. Pointing to climate change and other environmental effects of meat production, the panel suggested Americans contemplate the broader implications when choosing what to eat.
With few new antibiotics in the pipeline and bacterial resistance to existing products spreading, the World Health Organization, the Obama administration, and other governments around the world are looking for ways to stem the tide. As the recent Ebola outbreak made clear, pathogens do not respect borders, so keeping antibiotics effective for as long as possible is a global issue requiring global cooperation.