Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics

What if antibiotics stopped working?

We are at risk of entering the post-antibiotic era. Since their introduction, antibiotics have been a staple in protecting the public health. However, their overuse has led to the creation of "superbugs," which cause illnesses that can't be cured. Last year 2 million Americans got antibiotic resistant infections, and 23,000 people died. This is happening partly because 70% of antibiotics are sold to factory farms, where they are used on animals that often aren't even sick. We have to stop the overuse of antibiotics, and protect our life-saving drugs.

In March 2015, we helped convince McDonald’s to stop serving chicken raised on our life-saving medicines. Shortly after, Tyson Foods, a major chicken producer and McDonald's supplier, followed suit. Then, in October, we convinced Subway, with more restaurants than any other chain in the United States, to make a commitment to stop serving any meat raised on antibiotics, starting with chicken by the end of 2016.

These were huge victories to protect public health, but now, other major chains need to take action. That's why we're focusing on KFC — the largest chain of fried chicken restaurants in the world.

KFC recently took a step in the right direction by updating their antibiotics policy, but it's not strong enough to fully protect our life-saving medicines. So we're calling on KFC to go further — and if they do, it could lead to a majority of the U.S. chicken industry raising their chickens without medically-important antibiotics.

Unsurprisingly, the industry is fighting back, trying to confuse consumers with misleading arguments about whether these commitments mean sick animals won't get treatment. But we know that's not true, and not the problem here. The problem is that farms are giving antibiotics to animals in their daily feed as a preventative measure — not just to treat sick animals. That's why our call is for meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics.

With thousands of Americans dying, and millions more getting sick from antibiotic-resistant infections every year, it's time for more chains to follow the lead of Subway, McDonald's, and many others.

If we don’t take decisive action soon, we could face a world in which life-saving antibiotics no longer work. This is why we need your help today. 

Campaign Updates

Blog Post | Public Health

Welcome Back to Campus! | MASSPIRG at MCLA

Welcome back to campus! I hope you're ready for another great semester at MCLA. This semester, our lead campaign is to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

The of antibiotics is creating superbugs which can create illnesses that can't be cured. Yet 70% of antibiotics on factory farms are given to livestock, often to animals that aren't even sick. This increases the risk that antibiotics won't work the next time you or I get sick.

To make sure that doesn't happen, we need the restaurants that buy from factory farms to call for change!

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Report | MassPIRG Education Fund | Foods

Apples To Twinkies 2012

At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, crushing debt and a weak economy, billions of taxpayer dollars are subsidizing junk food ingredients. In this report, we find that in 2011, over $1.28 billion in taxpayer subsidies went to junk food ingredients, bringing the total to a staggering $18.2 billion since 1995. To put that figure in perspective, $18.2 billion is enough to buy 2.9 billion Twinkies every year - 21 for every single American taxpayer.

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News Release | MassPIRG | Foods

AG SUBSIDIES PAY FOR 21 TWINKIES PER TAXPAYER, BUT ONLY HALF OF AN APPLE APIECE

Boston,  MA – Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to MASSPIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Corporate, Democracy, Energy, Energy Service Corps, Foods, Health Care, Higher Ed, Hunger, Oceans, Other, Parks, Student Debt, Sustainability, Textbooks, Transit, Waste, Water

Vote Yes for MASSPIRG!

 

Listen to Yoda: Please vote yes for MASSPIRG during the Student Government Elections on April 17th and 18th.

Every two years, Westfield State students vote to continue funding MASSPIRG through a $9 per student per semester waivable fee.

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News Release | US PIRG | Foods

Ag Subsidies Pay for 19 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only a Quarter of an Apple Apiece

US PIRG's Apples to Twinkies report finds that billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies to Big Agribusiness favor junk food ingredients over fresh, healthy produce.

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