Health Professional Campaign Endorsement: Overusing Antibiotics, a Major Public Health Crisis
As a health professional, I urge major restaurants to serve only meat from animals raised under a policy that reserves antibiotics to treat sick animals or to control a verified disease outbreak—not for growth promotion or disease prevention.

As doctors, nurses, and health professionals, we are deeply concerned about the threat to public health caused by the widespread overuse of antibiotics.

In order to preserve antibiotics for the future, we need to work on two fronts—developing new antibiotics to meet future demand and conserving existing antibiotics by ending their overuse.
One of the largest sources of overuse occurs not in human medicine, but in animal agriculture, and it should be addressed immediately.

Antibiotics should be used to treat sick animals or if needed to control a verified disease outbreak within a flock or herd. However, many large-scale livestock and poultry farms routinely give antibiotics—typically through feed or water—to animals even when they’re not sick. This practice increases the likelihood that bacteria resistant to the drugs will flourish, and our life-saving medicines won't work to combat them.

Medical organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists have stressed the need to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics on food animals to keep these medicines effective.

Without action, we stand to lose antibiotics as a critical tool to treat our patients and save lives.
As some of the largest meat purchasers in the United States, major restaurant chains have a responsibility to address the overuse of antibiotics in the meat supply chain. Doing so will play an important role in making sure that our medicine chest isn’t empty when it comes to treating human infections.
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