Drug-Resistant Superbug Gene Found In At Least 19 Countries Since November

A map showing the countries in which the MCR-1 gene has been confirmed.

You’ve likely never been prescribed the antibiotic colistin, because it’s a drug of last resort that you turn to after only other antibiotics have failed. But there’s a gene that can make bacteria resistant to colistin, and a new report says it’s been found in at least 19 countries on four continents. [More]

Imagine how tasty this buffalo chicken pizza will be when you know the chicken wasn't fed a continuous low dose of tetracycline.

Papa John’s Promises To Go Antibiotic-Free For Its Chicken Toppings, Poppers

We’ve never really understood the appeal of chicken on pizza, but hey — some people really like it. So this should be good news for them, as Papa John’s has announced plans to only source chickens raised on vegetarian diets and without antibiotics. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Farm Animals Can Get Over-The-Counter Antibiotics That Humans Need A Prescription For

If you get sick and need an antibiotic, you’ll also need a prescription because these medically important drugs shouldn’t be used willy-nilly. But if you’re a cow, pig, chicken, or fish, you can get many of those same antibiotics without any prescription whatsoever at any number of retail and online stores. [More]

FDA’s Voluntary Guidance Failing To Curb Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

FDA’s Voluntary Guidance Failing To Curb Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

Two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration — after decades of delay — paid lip service to the idea of reducing the use of medically important antibiotics for growth-promotion in farm animals, by asking the drug makers to voluntarily stop selling antibiotics specifically for that purpose. Critics called the FDA actions pointless while the drug and beef industries weren’t bothered in the least. And now, by the FDA’s own numbers, we can see why. [More]

(iwantamonkey)

Is Your Thanksgiving Turkey On Drugs?

We’ve written before about the overuse of antibiotics in turkeys and how it contributes to the development of drug-resistant bacteria, and some companies have pledged to cut down on the amount of unnecessary antibiotics they feed to their birds. But was the turkey you’re planning to carve up next Thursday raised using these and other potentially harmful drugs? [More]

California Governor Finally Signs Nation’s First Law Getting Tough On Antibiotics In Farm Animals

California Governor Finally Signs Nation’s First Law Getting Tough On Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Weeks after the California state legislature passed the nation’s first law intended to hold farmers and veterinarians accountable for the use of antibiotics in livestock, Governor Jerry Brown finally signed the bill over the weekend. [More]

California Governor Urged To Sign Bill Limiting Antibiotics In Farm Animals

California Governor Urged To Sign Bill Limiting Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Some 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. go into animal feed, primarily for the purpose of growth-promotion (or under the vague, confusing umbrella of “disease prevention”), a practice that researchers believe is contributing to the development of drug-resistant bacteria that sicken millions, and kill thousands, of Americans each year. California legislators recently passed a bill aimed at limiting the overuse of antibiotics on livestock and it’s now up to Governor Jerry Brown to decide whether or not to sign it. [More]

(Steve R.)

Farmers Say They’re Making Too Much Money Off Beef To Go Drug-Free

We already know that 4-in-5 popular restaurant chains have put little to no thought into dealing with the overuse of antibiotics in the farm animals that provide the beef, chicken, and pork for their foods. And though chicken titans like Perdue and Tyson are nudging the poultry industry toward fewer antibiotics, cattle farmers are apparently more reluctant to head the drug-free route because they are making big profits on drugged-up cows. [More]

Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, 17 Others Earn “F” Grades For Antibiotics Policies

Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, 17 Others Earn “F” Grades For Antibiotics Policies

While recent moves by McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A to reduce the use of antibiotics in the meat they serve may indicate a shift in the industry’s attitude about drugged-up cows and chickens, the overwhelming majority of large fast food and family restaurant chains continue to source beef and poultry raised on unnecessary antibiotics that could result in the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. [More]

Lawmakers Call On USDA To Reduce Farmers’ Reliance On Antibiotics In Chickens

Lawmakers Call On USDA To Reduce Farmers’ Reliance On Antibiotics In Chickens

Following a 17-month outbreak of salmonella poisoning that sickened at least 600 people around the country, a Dept. of Agriculture advisory committee will meet tomorrow discuss strategies for effectively controlling the spread of salmonella in poultry. In advance of that meeting, two members of Congress are calling on the USDA to take a three-pronged approach to fighting drug-resistant bacteria. [More]

FDA To Hold Public Meeting, Seek Comments On Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

FDA To Hold Public Meeting, Seek Comments On Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

For decades, livestock farmers inadvertently encouraged the development of drug-resistant bacteria by providing a continuous stream of medically unnecessary antibiotics to their cows, pigs, and chickens — primarily to end up with bigger animals — while the Food and Drug Administration kept the issue on the back-burner. Meanwhile, antibiotic-resistant pathogens sicken more than two million people in the U.S. each year, resulting in at least 23,000 deaths. Now that everyone from consumers to lawmakers to public health advocates to McDonald’s and even Walmart are starting to care about the topic, the FDA is starting to listen. [More]

(Photo: Consumerist)

Wendy’s Finally Begins Testing Antibiotic-Free Chicken

More than a year after Chick fil-A began its transition away from drugged-up chickens, and months after McDonald’s announced its plans to eventually go the antibiotic-free route, Wendy’s — the one major burger chain with ads that tout its better, more natural ingredients — is finally dipping its toes into the no-antibiotics pool. [More]

(Chris Goldberg)

Perdue Says Half Its Chickens Now Raised Without Any Antibiotics At All

Almost a year ago, Perdue — one of the biggest names in chicken — announced its hatcheries would cease using antibiotics that were medically important to human beings, and today the company said that it has reached a milestone in the move to curb the dangerous overuse of these vital drugs, claiming that more than half of its birds are now being raised without the use of any sort of antibiotics at all. [More]

Groups Call On Subway’s Sandwich Artists To Use Antibiotic-Free Meat In Their Masterpieces

Groups Call On Subway’s Sandwich Artists To Use Antibiotic-Free Meat In Their Masterpieces

With major fast food chains like McDonald’s, Chick fil-A, Chipotle, and Panera all now sourcing at least some meat that wasn’t raised using medically important antibiotics, a coalition of some 50 consumer and health advocacy groups are asking Subway, the fast food chain with the most stores in the U.S., to give drug-free meat a try. [More]

Bernard Walker

White House Makes Push For Private Sector To Help Curb Dangerous Overuse Of Antibiotics

Today at the White House, representatives for some 150 organizations, including Consumer Reports, and private companies gathered for a forum on how to rein in the rampant, and potentially deadly, overuse of antibiotics in everything from hospitals to farm animals. [More]

Foster Farms, Company Behind Salmonella Outbreak, To Cut Down On Antibiotics It Shoves Down Chickens’ Throats

Foster Farms, Company Behind Salmonella Outbreak, To Cut Down On Antibiotics It Shoves Down Chickens’ Throats

Foster Farms is one of the country’s largest poultry, cranking out millions of birds each week. It’s also the company behind a recent outbreak of drug-resistant salmonella that sickened more than 600 people in 29 states. Today, the company has changed its antibiotics policies so that its chickens will no longer be fed medically unnecessary drugs. [More]

(Kyle Herzig)

Walmart To Require Meat Suppliers Provide Data On Antibiotics Use

Antibiotics used on farm animals account for more than 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S., and many of these drugs are medically important to the health of human beings. The overuse of antibiotics results in the development of drug-resistant pathogens, thus making the antibiotics less effective and requiring more potent drugs. Some of the nation’s biggest buyers of meat are making the switch toward purchasing antibiotic-free meat (or meat that is only given drugs not deemed medically important to humans), and today Walmart said it will begin collecting and sharing data on the antibiotics used by its meat suppliers. [More]

(Teresa RS)

New FDA Rule Would Provide More Information About Antibiotics In Farm Animals, But Still Not Enough

After decades of inaction on the issue, the FDA is slowly taking actions that it hopes will curb the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, which currently accounts for around 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. The agency’s latest measure, if approved, will provide more information about how farmers are using these medically important drugs, but by the FDA’s own admission, it’s still not sufficient. [More]