Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Cleveland Passes Resolution for Nationwide Ban on Misuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms

Health + Wellness
Cleveland Passes Resolution for Nationwide Ban on Misuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms

In Ohio, Cleveland City Council passed a resolution Monday supporting a nationwide ban on the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms, with the support of Food & Water Watch and councilman Joe Cimperman.

On Monday, Food & Water Watch activists stand with Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, Council President Kevin Kelly, Director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health Karen Butler and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson at Cleveland City Hall after Councilman Cimperman introduced a resolution calling for federal action on the issue of antibiotic overuse on factory farms. Photo credit: Food & Water Watch

“We applaud the Cleveland City Council for passing a resolution in support of a nationwide ban of the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms," said Food & Water Watch Ohio organizer Alison Auciello. "Factory farms feed low doses of antibiotics to livestock to promote unnatural growth and to compensate for filthy, crowded living conditions. As a result, we’re entering an age in which these life-saving medicines are no longer working to treat infections in humans."

The widespread practice of giving low doses of antibiotics to healthy livestock on factory farms is contributing to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is a growing public health concern that’s making antibiotics less effective in treating infections in both people and animals.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released voluntary guidelines last December to address this issue known as nontherapeutic use. However, a Food & Water Watch analysis released earlier this month revealed that 89 percent of antibiotic drugs that the guidelines advises against using to speed growth can still be given to healthy animals for other reasons.

“Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a pressing public health issue," said Councilman Cimperman. "It is about time we educate the public and make changes in the regulation of the practices that cause these issues. To slow the growth of antibiotic resistant infections and improve the health of Americans, we must ban the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics on a state and national level.”

In February, Clevelanders took part in a rally at the West Side Market to help educate consumers on the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms:

[blackoutgallery id="321677"]

To assess the overlap between growth promotion uses, which remain unchecked, the Food & Water Watch analyzed the FDA’s list of more than 400 drug products affected by the federal guidelines.

The FDA’s list includes 217 medically important antibiotic drugs that are known to accelerate animal growth. Of those drugs, 63 percent can also be applied to disease prevention, meaning the drugs can continue to be used nontherapeutically, which will continue to promote the development of antibiotic resistance.

Of the remaining antibiotics used for growth promotion, 59 can still be used for “disease control” in healthy animals. That leaves only 23 drugs—11 percent—with no approved nontherapeutic uses under full implementation of the guidelines.

The Superbug Crisis 

Antibiotic-resistant infections, like staphylococcus aureus, sicken at least 2 million Americans per year and kill more than 23,000, according to a 2013 CDC report. Those infections can happen anywhere, but they’re especially deadly when they’re spread in hospitals, nursing homes or other health care centers.

Now the crisis is slowly worsening as drugmakers spend less time and money creating new antibiotics, even as more bacteria are becoming resistant to older drugs.

What You Can Do

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Only use antibiotic creams when necessary
  • Fight off mild to moderate colds yourself with doctor’s approval
  • Don’t use leftover drugs
  • Buy “no antibiotics” or “USDA organic” meat: Tests of turkey and chicken suggest that poultry raised without antibiotics may be less likely to carry resistant bacteria. Also, buying antibiotic-free meat supports farmers who keep livestock off unneeded drugs and helps sustain the desired effectiveness of antibiotics.

Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

This image of the Santa Monica Mountains in California shows how a north-facing slope (left) can be covered in white-blooming hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius), while the south-facing slope (right) is much less sparsely covered in a completely different plant. Noah Elhardt / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.5

By Mark Mancini

If weather is your mood, climate is your personality. That's an analogy some scientists use to help explain the difference between two words people often get mixed up.

Read More Show Less
Flames from the Lake Fire burn on a hillside near a fire truck and other vehicles on Aug. 12, 2020 in Lake Hughes, California. Mario Tama / Getty Images

An "explosive" wildfire ignited in Los Angeles county Wednesday, growing to 10,000 acres in a little less than three hours.

Read More Show Less
Although heat waves rarely get the attention that hurricanes do, they kill far more people per year in the U.S. and abroad. greenaperture / Getty Images

By Jeff Berardelli

Note: This story was originally published on August 6, 2020

If asked to recall a hurricane, odds are you'd immediately invoke memorable names like Sandy, Katrina or Harvey. You'd probably even remember something specific about the impact of the storm. But if asked to recall a heat wave, a vague recollection that it was hot during your last summer vacation may be about as specific as you can get.

Read More Show Less

A film by Felix Nuhr.

Thailand has a total population of 5,000 elephants. But of that number, 3,000 live in captivity, carrying tourists on their backs and offering photo opportunities made for social media.

Read More Show Less
Scientists have found a way to use bricks as batteries, meaning that buildings may one day be used to store and generate power. Public Domain Pictures

One of the challenges of renewable power is how to store clean energy from the sun, wind and geothermal sources. Now, a new study and advances in nanotechnology have found a method that may relieve the burden on supercapacitor storage. This method turns bricks into batteries, meaning that buildings themselves may one day be used to store and generate power, Science Times reported.

Bricks are a preferred building tool for their durability and resilience against heat and frost since they do not shrink, expand or warp in a way that compromises infrastructure. They are also reusable. What was unknown, until now, is that they can be altered to store electrical energy, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.

The scientists behind the study figured out a way to modify bricks in order to use their iconic red hue, which comes from hematite, an iron oxide, to store enough electricity to power devices, Gizmodo reported. To do that, the researchers filled bricks' pores with a nanofiber made from a conducting plastic that can store an electrical charge.

The first bricks they modified stored enough of a charge to power a small light. They can be charged in just 13 minutes and hold 10,000 charges, but the challenge is getting them to hold a much larger charge, making the technology a distant proposition.

If the capacity can be increased, researchers believe bricks can be used as a cheap alternative to lithium ion batteries — the same batteries used in laptops, phones and tablets.

The first power bricks are only one percent of a lithium-ion battery, but storage capacity can be increased tenfold by adding materials like metal oxides, Julio D'Arcy, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who contributed to the paper and was part of the research team, told The Guardian. But only when the storage capacity is scaled up would bricks become commercially viable.

"A solar cell on the roof of your house has to store electricity somewhere and typically we use batteries," D'Arcy told The Guardian. "What we have done is provide a new 'food-for-thought' option, but we're not there yet.

"If [that can happen], this technology is way cheaper than lithium ion batteries," D'Arcy added. "It would be a different world and you would not hear the words 'lithium ion battery' again."

Aerial view of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama, where a new soil study was held, on Sept. 11, 2019. LUIS ACOSTA / AFP via Getty Images

One of the concerns about a warming planet is the feedback loop that will emerge. That is, as the planet warms, it will melt permafrost, which will release trapped carbon and lead to more warming and more melting. Now, a new study has shown that the feedback loop won't only happen in the nether regions of the north and south, but in the tropics as well, according to a new paper in Nature.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods speaks during a press conference after a shooting at Forest High School on April 20, 2018 in Ocala, Florida. Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A sheriff in Florida is under fire for deciding Tuesday to ban his deputies from wearing face masks while on the job—ignoring the advice of public health experts about the safety measures that everyone should take during the coronavirus pandemic as well as the rising Covid-19 death toll in his county and state.

Read More Show Less