Target: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Condemn FDA for not disclosing the serious human health risks caused by antibiotics in animal feed
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have kept at least 30 antibiotics used in livestock feed on the market even though it secretly discovered a majority of them can cause dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people. Through the FDA’s own internal analysis, it found that 18 of the penicillin and tetracycline additives in animal feed pose a serious risk of exposing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people through food consumption. The FDA was concealing this information until the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) obtained these documents through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The FDA discovered that all 30 of the antibiotics would not be approved for use under the current FDA guidelines if they were submitted today. They also found that 26 of them fail the safety standards established by the FDA in 1973. The FDA has neglected to take action in revoking approval for any of these antibiotic feed additives. The NRDC stated that at least nine of the additives are being marketed to this day. About 70 percent of all sales of medically important antibiotics in the U.S. are used for livestock.
By signing this petition below, you will help urge the FDA to uphold their responsibility of protecting the public’s health and to stop the use of antibiotics that can pose serious danger to people.
Dear U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
By concealing information and allowing antibiotics in animal feed that pose serious health risks to people, you are violating your responsibility to the public. You job is to protect people from the potential health dangers caused by food and drugs. Not only do you need to disclose the information you find through your scientific analysis, you need to ban anything that causes people to get sick, or even die.
You have found that the antibiotics in animal feed pose a high risk to human health in that they cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that at least two million people in the United States become sick, and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections. You are doing a serious disservice to the public by allowing the use of antibiotics feed additives that do not meet your own safety standards.
You need to withdraw approval for penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed, and limit their use to treat sick animals and control disease outbreaks. Furthermore, you need to withdraw approval for all other antibiotics used for nontherapeutic livestock that have been proven to be unsafe.
I am asking you to uphold your responsibility to the public and prevent dangerous human health risks by revoking approval for the antibiotic feed additives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: USGS via Wikimedia Commons