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]

Looking Ahead: 5 Big Issues To Follow For 2016

frankieleon

Now that 2015 is done and we finally learned that Luke Skywalker is actually Faye Dunaway’s daughter (and sister!), it’s time to take off the party hats, sweep up the confetti, and do the walk of shame forward into the uncharted territory of the year to come. [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]

6 Things You Should Know About The Use Of Antibiotics On Farm Animals

6 Things You Should Know About The Use Of Antibiotics On Farm Animals

We’ve written a lot over the years about the overuse of antibiotics in livestock and how this can help create the drug-resistant “superbugs” that sicken millions, and kill thousands, every year — in the U.S. alone. It’s a complicated issue and the solution involves more than just buying the occasional organic chicken from Whole Foods. [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]

Tests Find Drug-Resistant Bacteria In 18% Of Conventionally Raised Ground Beef

jpmarth

Bacteria is everywhere, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find at least some ugly little pathogens in any meat products you buy. Most of these bugs won’t survive the cooking process, especially if you get that meat up to 160 degrees before serving. But since so many people like their burgers on the rarer side, it’s smart to know the potential risks. [More]

(Kim Moynes)

5 Ground Beef Labels To Look Out For & What They Mean

So you’re eating burgers at a cookout with some friends. One pal asks the host, “Hey, is this ground beef organic?” The host smugly answers, “Of course, I only buy grass-fed.” “Oh, so it’s antibiotic free?” queries another buddy, to which the host replies, “Didn’t you hear me? I said it’s grass-fed.” What the host apparently doesn’t know is that he may be very mistaken. [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]

(Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

Costco Cuts Back On Chilean Salmon In Favor Of Antibiotic-Free Fish

Amid concerns of antibiotics overuse contributing to the development of drug-resistant superbugs, American consumers are increasingly demanding antibiotic-free meat and fish. That’s bad news for Chilean salmon farmers who are facing a bacterial outbreak and treating their fish with record levels of antibiotics — and losing the business of Costco and others. [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]