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  • All I want for Christmas is responsibly-raised meat. | NJPIRG
    phasing out the routine use of antibiotics from your chicken supply I can t think of a better gift than that for me and the entire nation With more marketplace actors like you on our side we can put a definitive end to a practice that is as nonsensical as it is dangerous the routine use of antibiotics on livestock and poultry This practice breeds antibiotics resistant bacteria which can rapidly multiply spread off of the farm and into communities via contaminated water soil or food The infections caused by these so called superbugs can be difficult and increasingly impossible to treat because the medicines we have to treat them simply don t work That s where you come in KFC In 2015 McDonald s committed to phasing out the use of human antibiotics from its chicken Noodles Company and Subway joined them with commitments to all their meat While your commitment to not use critically important antibiotics is a step in the right direction the antibiotics defined as such are very few and a substantial number of medically important antibiotics remain open for misuse A commitment to phase out the routine use of all human antibiotics is not only critical to protect public health it s also good for business Make no mistake I m not alone in wanting meat raised without routine antibiotics on the menu When you commit to helping save antibiotics you ll be meeting the demands of a growing number consumers and nearly all health care professionals are concerned about the routine use of antibiotics in meat production That s a lot of happy potential customers our gift to you Truth be told I m hoping every large restaurant chain will join the list of leaders committed to protecting antibiotics But I m writing to

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/all-i-want-christmas-responsibly-raised-meat (2016-04-29)
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  • It keeps getting better | NJPIRG
    bacteria that are resistant to the medicines we rely on to save lives Already 23 000 Americans die each year from antibiotic resistant infections and the numbers are expected to grow worse When restaurant chains make commitments to serve meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics it pressures their suppliers to change their ways The more chains the more pressure Papa John s is following on the heels of 2015 commitments from Subway Noodles Company and McDonald s Earlier trendsetters like Chipotle Panera and Chick fil A plus other regional chains continue to demonstrate that meat raised without antibiotics is not only critical for public health it s smart business Incidentally Papa John s is based in Louisville I m hoping another Louisville chain Kentucky Fried Chicken gets the same memo that this is good for public health and popular with consumers With four major restaurant chains making announcements on antibiotics 2015 was a good year Somewhere down the line as more farming operations change the way they use antibiotics in order to supply these restaurant chains the FDA or Congress will adopt an across the board policy After all it s more politically palatable to regulate the industry laggards than it is to take on an entire industry So to Papa John s I say this thank you for joining the list of industry leaders on antibiotics and know that we hope to see a commitment for other meats in the near future Public Health Food Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse Of Antibiotics Stop the Highway Boondoggles Democracy For The People Label GMO Foods Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Toxic Free Communities Reining in Wall Street Act Now Jobs Donate Newsroom Resources Reports Get our RSS feed Our Affiliates Our Sister c 3 Are

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/it-keeps-getting-better (2016-04-29)
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  • Predictable Problems in the FDA Annual Report | NJPIRG
    be used to promote growth Years earlier similar industry guidelines had already proved ineffective in Denmark There was no reason to assume it would be different here Farmers already purchased the vast majority of antibiotics for the reported purpose of preventing disease that animals grew fatter on less feed was merely a convenient side effect Factory farms have used antibiotics to promote growth in farm animals for decades The 2013 FDA guidance presumed that asking drug companies to stop selling drugs solely for this purpose would be enough to lessen overall antibiotics use on farms Because almost all drugs approved for growth promotion use were already approved for therapeutic use antibiotics sales were hardly touched Farms simply had to switch their reason for buying and using the drugs from growth promotion to disease prevention According to initial reports by Consumerist citing the FDA report the percentage of therapeutic drugs sold that have known growth promotion benefits remained flat at 72 in the year after the agency s guidance was released and while the FDA has tried to impress upon the need for veterinary oversight on these antibiotics 97 of all medically important drugs were available in 2014 without a prescription or a veterinary feed directive As long as livestock and poultry producers can purchase antibiotics over the counter legitimately for the purpose of disease prevention we re walking swiftly down the path towards a post antibiotic era in which our life saving medicines no longer work The World Health Organization warns that without swift coordinated action this will be the reality we all face in less than 50 years and by recent indications sooner Just last month a bacterial gene resistant to even our last line of antibiotics was found in both China and later Denmark CRE bacteria dubbed the phantom menace is on the rise across America and studies continue to connect the rise of another superbug MRSA to antibiotics overuse on farms These troubling trends combined with the FDA s report reaffirm that voluntary industry reductions will be neither swift nor coordinated enough to address the public health crisis of antibiotic resistance There is good news In the face of government inaction the marketplace is pushing the industry to change This year we helped push McDonald s the largest in market share and Subway the largest in size to make commitments to stop buying meat raised on antibiotics As a result their suppliers had no choice but to end their antibiotics overuse Similar commitments by a growing number of restaurant chains and the support of hundreds of thousands of consumers are helping push the industry in the right direction We aren t done In 2016 we ll work to move more of the market towards raising meat without the routine use of antibiotics With enough consumers health care professionals public health and environmental organizations we can convince more chains to put public health first That doesn t let the FDA off the hook Now that their voluntary Guidance

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/predictable-problems-fda-annual-report (2016-04-29)
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  • The Phantom, and Other Menaces | NJPIRG
    a powerful coalition of pharmaceutical and agricultural interest groups The FDA tabled the discussion It shouldn t have Superbugs are not a problem that can be buried in stacks of paper and they don t slow down for more research Researchers worldwide are already offering solid evidence that administering antibiotics to animals that aren t sick on a routine basis allows bacteria to become resistant Yet this fall the FDA opted to propose regulations to collect data on antibiotic use on farms rather than meaningful prohibitions on routine antibiotic use That up to 70 of medically important antibiotics are sold for use on farm animals that often aren t sick to promote growth or prevent disease should be enough data to prompt swift action What we lack is a comprehensive plan to address this rapidly increasing public health threat Current FDA guidelines are not enough Pharmaceutical companies can merely change drug labels to disallow use for growth promotion but still permit routine use for disease prevention and thus put no significant dent in antibiotic use in factory farms Similar action taken by the Denmark in the 1990 s failed to reduce the amount of antibiotics fed to livestock which is necessary to slow the development and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria There are no guarantees about how long antibiotics will remain effective What s certain is that every time we use antibiotics improperly resistance grows Yet that is exactly what factory farms are doing by routinely using antibiotics on their animals And there is little evidence that factory farms will stop until doing so is explicitly banned As long as this remains the norm we re willingly sprinting towards the brink of the post antibiotic era in which now minor infections can once again kill In the meantime we re

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/phantom-and-other-menaces (2016-04-29)
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  • Not-so-secret-Santas in Congress Using Spending Bill To Roll Back Health, Safety, Wallet Protections | NJPIRG
    well as by lobbies for debt collectors credit bureaus and other financial associations such as land title appraisal and escrow firms that benefit from a lack of regulatory scrutiny The letter is rife with mis statements including false claims re former Rep Barney Frank and Senator Warren s positions rebutted in the links As Jim Lardner of our Americans for Financial Reform AFR coalition explains the financial riders would also roll back the safety and soundness reforms enacted as part of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act That AFR blog goes on to explain that the American public on a broadly bi partisan basis is on our side One more thing these measures have in common Financial interests are trying to push them into the budget because they would not look good as stand alone measures that had to be debated in the light of day In a joint letter to Congress last week 166 consumer labor civil rights community and faith based organizations pointed out that a large majority Americans regardless of political party want financial regulation to be tougher not weaker that finding borne out by repeated polls was most recently confirmed by a Washington Post ABC News survey on the presidential contest in which 67 percent of the respondents 58 percent of Republicans 68 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats said they would back a candidate calling for stricter financial regulation while only 24 percent said they would back a candidate opposing stricter regulation That s why the financial rollbacks are being orchestrated in a closed door Trojan Horse dead of night effort So are other efforts to weaken priorities of PIRG and numerous other public interest organizations That s why we ve joined 200 groups in a No Riders Clean Budget letter Here are just a few threats One rider would stop priority PIRG efforts backing Department of Labor efforts to protect retirement savings from unfair retirement account fee schemes by brokers who choose to put their interests ahead of yours Another rider would eliminate Securities and Exchange Commission authority to require public companies to disclose political spending PIRG and coalition partners have generated a record 1 2 million comments to the SEC in support of the effort Another massive financial bill S1484 was inserted as a rider into the Senate Appropriations Committee passed spending bill While it purports to achieve the laudable goal of lessening regulatory burden on small banks it is in actuality primarily designed to eliminate safety and soundness anti risk rules applying to mega banks Yet another would weaken a pending Food and Drug Administration FDA rule on liquid nicotine and flavored cigars by exempting these tobacco products currently on the market from any regulation this will limit the agency s ability to protect children and teens from these harmful products Another would eliminate the recently finalized EPA rule expanding the Clean Water Act and protecting drinking water for 1 of 3 Americans That s a

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/eds-blog/usp/not-so-secret-santas-congress-using-spending-bill-roll-back-health-safety-wallet (2016-04-29)
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  • Medical Professionals Call for Action to Save Antibiotics | NJPIRG
    even sick This practice increases the likelihood that bacteria resistant to the drugs will grow and flourish and our life saving medicines won t work Antibiotic resistant bacteria don t stay put they can spread off of farms and into communities via contaminated food products or by water soil and air A February 2014 study found that the patients in an Iowa VA residential hospital who had resided within 1 mile of large swine facilities were nearly twice as likely to have Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus MRSA colonization at time of admission than were patients not living in close proximity to large confined animal feedlots In all more than 2 million Americans get sick from antibiotic resistant infections each year and 23 000 people die We stand to lose antibiotics as a critical tool to treat our patients and save lives Restaurants can force meat producers to stop the overuse of antibiotics Chipotle Chik fil A Panera Bread McDonalds on chicken and now Subway have made commitments to serve meat raised without antibiotics We need even more restaurants to take action Please commit to serving meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics It will play an important role in making sure that our medicine chest isn t empty when it comes to treating human infections Sincerely Health care professionals nationwide Are you a health care professional There s still time to join our call Please sign now Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse Of Antibiotics Stop the Highway Boondoggles Democracy For The People Label GMO Foods Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Toxic Free Communities Reining in Wall Street Act Now Jobs Donate Newsroom Resources Reports Get our RSS feed Our Affiliates Our Sister c 3 Are you a student Energy Service Corps Our Federation Archives Blog Media

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/news/usp/medical-professionals-call-action-save-antibiotics (2016-04-29)
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  • A Sub-stantial Achievement | NJPIRG
    headquarters The next day McDonald s announced that it would phase out the use of medically important antibiotics from its chicken supply by 2017 Within weeks two of the top five chicken producers followed suit promising to phase out routine antibiotics use from their flocks At that moment it was clear there is power in the marketplace So the same collection of organizations that had worked on McDonald s Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC Consumers Union Friends of the Earth and Keep Antibiotics Working set our sights on the largest market player of them all Subway Subway boasts over 27 000 locations nationwide and purchases a tremendous amount of meat We knew that like McDonald s action by Subway to eliminate antibiotics from its meat supply would have a major impact on the industry and help put an end to the overuse use on antibiotics on livestock and poultry We got to work Our citizen outreach teams blanketed neighborhoods throughout the nation and gathered over 100 000 petitions from consumers hungry for meat raised without routine antibiotics We organized over 500 health care professionals to co sign a letter urging Subway to take this step for public health We generated thousands of tweets and Facebook comments from our members sending message straight to Subway s online front door With our campaign gaining traction others important players like the Center for Food Safety and the Food Babe joined in Together we gathered over 270 000 petition signatures including over 100 000 from U S PIRG activists urging Subway to phase out routine antibiotics from its meat supply Two days before we planned to deliver these signatures Subway set one of the stronger antibiotics policies of any chain to date Thank you Subway This is a huge victory for public health Subway

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/sub-stantial-achievement (2016-04-29)
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  • Public Health | NJPIRG
    While the order takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health Read more about Some Good Some Bad in Obama Executive Order on Protecting Antibiotics Report NJPIRG Law Policy Center Public Health Weak Medicine Antibiotic resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people per year in the United States causing more than 23 000 deaths State governments the FDA and other branches of the federal government should take steps to protect human health from the antibiotic resistant bacteria that can develop on factory farms Read more about Weak Medicine News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Public Health Food Health Care Stop the Superbugs NJPIRG gathered outside St Michaels s Medical Center in Newark Thursday to call on the Obama Administration to immediately restrict the use of antibiotics on factory farms when animals are not sick NJPIRG Law Policy Center released a new report Ending the Abuse of Antibiotics in Livestock Production The Case for Reform Read more about Stop the Superbugs Report NJPIRG Law Policy Center Public Health Food Health Care Ending the Abuse of Antibiotics in Livestock Production The following white paper outlines the case for immediate action to stop the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms and protect the long terms effectiveness of these life saving medicines Read more about Ending the Abuse of Antibiotics in Livestock Production Report NJPIRG Law Policy Center Public Health Health Care Should I Stay Or Should I Go Many consumers who buy their own health insurance face a big decision right now Should you renew your existing plan or switch to a new one It s an especially important decision for consumers whose insurance company is giving

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/topics/public-health?page=1 (2016-04-29)
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