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  • Predictable Problems in the FDA Annual Report | PennPIRG
    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 for Industry 213 has bared its false teeth it s time for the agency to set a stronger more meaningful plan to combat antibiotic resistance at one of

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/predictable-problems-fda-annual-report (2016-04-27)
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  • The Phantom, and Other Menaces | PennPIRG
    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 seeing progress in the marketplace Major restaurant chains like Chick fil A McDonald s have committed to serving chicken raised without antibiotics others like Chipotle and Subway have

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/phantom-and-other-menaces (2016-04-27)
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  • Not-so-secret-Santas in Congress Using Spending Bill To Roll Back Health, Safety, Wallet Protections | PennPIRG
    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 sample The list of Secret Santa gifts under consideration behind closed doors goes on and on Members of the public need to tell Congress No riders from

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/eds-blog/usp/not-so-secret-santas-congress-using-spending-bill-roll-back-health-safety-wallet (2016-04-27)
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  • Medical Professionals Call for Action to Save Antibiotics | PennPIRG
    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 Campaign for Safe Energy Democracy For The People Stop the Highway Boondoggles Close Corporate Tax Loopholes Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Label GMO Foods 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 Our Federation Featured Position PennPIRG Internship Work on some of the hottest political issues of the day from fighting the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms to promoting campaign finance

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/news/usp/medical-professionals-call-action-save-antibiotics (2016-04-27)
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  • Public Health | PennPIRG
    resistant bacterial infection in the past twelve months They also expressed concern about the use of antibiotics in livestock production facilities on healthy animals in order to promote growth and prevent disease Read more about Prescription For Change News Release U S PIRG Public Health Some Good Some Bad in Obama Executive Order on Protecting Antibiotics Today President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria 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 PennPIRG Education Fund 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 Report PennPIRG Education Fund Public Health Food Safety Scares 2013 Read more about Food Safety Scares 2013 Resource Public Health Health Care SO YOU NEED HEALTH INSURANCE NOW WHAT Having the facts can make all the difference when it comes to health insurance To make the most of new choices protections and financial help you need good information This guide can help you find quality coverage that won t break the bank Keep Reading about SO YOU NEED HEALTH INSURANCE NOW WHAT News Release PennPIRG Public Health Advocates Call On EPA for Increased Chemical Safety Security Activists gathered outside the EPA Region 3 offices in Philadelphia to release Danger In Our Backyards The Threat of Chemical Facilities to Millions

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/topics/public-health?page=1 (2016-04-27)
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  • Public Health | PennPIRG
    schoolchildren have been eating beef chicken and other foods that would have been rejected as substandard even by fast food chains Thanks in part to our advocacy the U S D A has stopped buying such low quality meat for school lunches Read more about KIDS SCHOOL LUNCHES NOW SAFER Pages first previous 1 2 3 Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics Campaign for Safe Energy Democracy For The People Stop the Highway Boondoggles Close Corporate Tax Loopholes Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Label GMO Foods 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 Our Federation Featured Position PennPIRG Internship Work on some of the hottest political issues of the day from fighting the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms to promoting campaign finance reform and tackling Citizens United improving voter access for students and underrepresented communities and advocating for a 21st century transportation system Job Description Take Action Donate Join Us Priority Action We re teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms Call on KFC to stop selling meat

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/topics/public-health?page=2 (2016-04-27)
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  • Ag Subsidies Pay for 20 Twinkies Per Taxpayer, but Only Half of an Apple Apiece | PennPIRG
    fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil that provide a cheap dose of sweetness and fat to a wide variety of junk food products I am disappointed that our current food system gives large subsidies to junk food ingredients while my family s fresh edamame soybeans and native American flint corn used for cornmeal and baking get barely any subsidies said Sophia Maravell the Education Director of Brickyard Educational Farm in Potomac Maryland and daughter of a small organic farmer who grows corn and soy Among the report s key findings Between 1995 and 2012 more than 19 billion in tax dollars subsidized four common food additives corn syrup high fructose corn syrup corn starch and soy oils better known as hydrogenated vegetable oils At 7 30 per taxpayer per year that would buy each taxpayer 20 Twinkies Outside of commodity crops other agricultural products received very little in federal subsidies Since 1995 taxpayers spent only 689 million subsidizing apples which is the only significant federal subsidy of fresh fruits or vegetables Coming to 26 cents per taxpayer per year that would buy less than half of one Red Delicious apple At a time when childhood obesity rates are sky high it s absurd that we re spending even one cent of taxpayer money on junk food let alone billions added Smith With the Farm Bill before Congress it s time to end this waste Our tax dollars shouldn t benefit large corporations such as Monsanto and Cargill and they shouldn t encourage farmers to grow specific varieties of corn and soy that get used for junk food additives that contribute to our nation s high obesity rates added Maravell Download the report here PennPIRG is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/news/pap/ag-subsidies-pay-20-twinkies-taxpayer-only-half-apple-apiece (2016-04-27)
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  • Apples to Twinkies | PennPIRG
    to appropriately direct federal dollars The system disproportionately benefits larger commodity crop producers sending tax subsidies to large already profitable players These subsidies also do not fund all crops equally Apples the only fruit or vegetable to receive significant federal subsidies garnered only 689 million over the same period Had these subsidies gone directly to America s 146 million taxpayers the apple subsidies would enable each taxpayer to buy half an apple each year but the annual junk food subsidies would add up to nearly 20 Twinkies each Key findings Of the total 292 5 billion allotted in agriculture subsidies 3 8 percent of farmers collected 178 5 billion while 62 percent of farms did not receive any federal funds Taxpayers spent 84 4 billion on corn production 8 1 billion of which funded production of corn starch and sweeteners Of the total domestic corn produced 9 6 percent ended up in junk food and beverages as sweeteners or thickeners Soy subsidies rank fifth on the list of subsidized crops costing taxpayers 27 8 billion Since 1995 soy oils have consumed approximately 11 1 billion in taxpayer subsidies With the money used to subsidize corn and soy junk food ingredients the government could buy almost 52 billion Twinkies enough to circle the Earth 132 times when placed end to end or meet the caloric needs of the entire U S population for 12 days Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics Campaign for Safe Energy Democracy For The People Stop the Highway Boondoggles Close Corporate Tax Loopholes Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Label GMO Foods 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 Our Federation Featured Position PennPIRG Internship

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/reports/pap/apples-twinkies-0 (2016-04-27)
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