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Emily Martin’s Blog

Lions and Tigers and... Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs!

Emily Martin

Posted October 1, 2013 in Health and the Environment

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Halloween is today and it makes me think about scary things – like the fact that over 2 million people are infected each year with antibiotic resistant superbugs and that 23,000 people each year are dying as a result.  And, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their latest report entitled “Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013,” that’s just a conservative estimate! 

Since 80% of all antibiotics sold in the United States are sold for use on farm animals, it’s not a very difficult leap to understand that the livestock industry is playing a major role in breeding these drug-resistant bacteria that now play leading roles in my nightmares.  Superbugs can spread from farms through the air, soil, water and people who are in contact with animals; and also end up in meat at the grocery store, putting millions of people at risk of getting infections that are harder to treat or not treatable at all.

So, who needs to dress up like a werewolf or vampire to experience Halloween thrills when antibiotic resistant Superbugs are coming to town, hitching a ride on the subway and making their way to your front door?

That’s scary enough for me. Trick or Treat?  How about – fix our meat!  Sign the petition and help stop the spread of superbugs. 

 

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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