CDC report links livestock antibiotics to human deaths

The Federal Centers for Disease Control issued a report about drug-resistant infections, and it is notable both for providing a conservative-but-definitive number for human deaths, and for confirming "the link between resistance and the use of antibiotics in livestock."

The report and news articles make clear that plenty of antibiotic use in humans in unnecessary and must be stopped to maintain the effectiveness of the drugs. This is the first time, however, that a part of the Federal government has acknowledged the need to change routine use of antibiotics to control disease and increase weight in feedlot animals. As the UPI blog entry notes, "[t]he link has been suspected since as far back as the 1960s, and repeated attempts at new legislation or FDA guidelines have been blocked in Congress."

Our suppliers for our meat case, Petaluma Poultry, Diestel Family Turkey Ranch, Llano Seco pork, Niman Ranch pork and lamb, Five Dot Ranch beef and Eel River Organic Beef do NOT administer or feed antibiotics to their animals.

From Page 31 of the CDC report:

Perhaps the single most important action needed to greatly slow down the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections is to change the way antibiotics are used. Up to half of antibiotic use in humans and much of antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary and inappropriate and makes everyone less safe. Stopping even some of the inappropriate and unnecessary use of antibiotics in people and animals would help greatly in slowing down the spread of resistant bacteria. This commitment to always use antibiotics appropriately and safely—only when they are needed to treat disease, and to choose the right antibiotics and to administer them in the right way in every case—is known as antibiotic stewardship.