Organizations and Restaurant Icons Band Together to Support Resolution to Call for the Passage of PAMTA and PARA in Congress, Limiting the Use of Antibiotics in Livestock
Chicago, IL—(ENEWSPF)–June 24, 2014— According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least two million Americans per year suffer from infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. The organization also reports that 23,000 Americans die each year from these infections. The rampant use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics in livestock contributes significantly to the spread of these “superbugs,” or antibiotic resistant bacteria. Eighty percent of U.S. antibiotics are sold not to treat sick people but to produce meat and poultry. Most often, these drugs are fed to healthy animals to make them grow faster and to stave off disease in animals that are kept in highly crowded, unsanitary conditions. Because of this zealous use of antibiotics as preventative measures in a “broken system,” bacteria are evolving to resist antibiotic treatment, and humans, who rely on antibiotics for reactive treatment of sickness, are beginning to lose their ability to recover from illnesses that, until recently, had been relatively minor. The CDC and the World Health Organization have called antibiotic resistance one of the greatest health threats of our time.
On Tuesday, June 24, Chicago Alderman Edward M. Burke (14th) will hold a hearing at City Hall before the Committee on Finance, urging Capitol Hill legislators to ban the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock production. This resolution references current Congressional legislation, namely H.R. 1150, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) in the House of Representatives and S. 1256, the Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance Act (PARA) in the Senate. The resolution asserts that the city of Chicago should add its influential voice to the calls for passage of these two bills. If this resolution is passed, Chicago would be joining cities including Seattle, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Providence that have already passed similar resolutions.
Dan Rosenthal and Ina Pinkney, Co-Founders of The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition have led the charge in producing a groundswell of support for this resolution and for the passage of these Congressional bills. Says Pinkney, “Chicago’s restaurant community has always led the way with social issues that affect everyone. In 2005 we organized chefs and restaurants to help pass the smoking ban in Chicago. Today, it’s the abuse of antibiotics by industrial meat producers. This has now become an international health crisis. We must all act quickly, or effective antibiotics will disappear forever.”