Target: Urban School Food Alliance Chairman Eric Goldstein
Goal: Support major school districts banning meat treated with antibiotics
The Urban School Food Alliance—a coalition of school districts across the country—announced recently that its six districts would require their food suppliers to provide only antibiotic-free chicken for students. A previous ForceChange petition called for an end to antibiotic-treated cafeteria meat. Support this important move toward healthier kids.
School districts in Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Miami-Dade County and Orlando County, which serve around 2.6 million meals between them annually, banded together to help protect students from the increasing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, aka superbugs, which are on the rise across the world. Superbugs are believed to be the consequence of overusing antibiotics, typical of the meat industry, which regularly uses unnecessary antibiotics to limit the instance of infection and illness in over-packed livestock kept in unhygienic conditions.
Antibiotics, however, were never intended for use in preventive care and their rampant abuse allows bacteria to evolve to increasingly resilient forms, leaving humans and animals with little recourse for treatment against them. Poultry suppliers argue that it would be irresponsible and unrealistic not to treat sick poultry with antibiotics and to expect a constant supply of chickens that have never received antibiotics is ill-informed. Better living conditions for poultry have proven to be the easiest solution to maintaining antibiotic-free, healthy livestock. When animals live and eat better, they are less likely to get sick in the first place, therefore less likely to need medication.
The new regulation is expected to take several years to be fully implemented as contracts with suppliers end and other suppliers work to make the switch. All six districts maintain complete commitment to their stance against antibiotic-treated meat, and after meeting with experts, school officials say the trajectory they’re on is in line with the best available scientific recommendations.
Sign this petition in support of ending antibiotic abuse in livestock and recognizing that we as a nation must take more responsibility for how we feed our children.
Dear Mr. Goldstein,
The Urban School Food Alliance is leading the way for schools across the country with its commitment to antibiotic-free chicken in cafeterias in all six major districts. The ban on antibiotic-treated chicken is starting the discussion about our responsibility for the health of our nation’s children and the huge role diet plays in their future. Hopefully, coming years will see antibiotic-free livestock in every school and house in the country and superbugs will be a thing of the past.
I applaud the decision to protect students across the nation from the harmful effects of antibiotic abuse and to support healthier living for livestock.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pete Cooper via Wikimedia Commons
Original petition: Ban Antibiotic-Treated Meat in School Lunches