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1st Study of Estimated Local Use of Antibiotics as Livestock Feed Additives to be Released During Wednesday Teleconference


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News Advisory:

NEWS ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 9:30 A.M. EDT

1st Study of Estimated Local Use of Antibiotics as Livestock Feed Additives to be Released During Wednesday Teleconference

Geographic Concentration Found in Report Significant; Prior Studies Suggest People Living Near Intensive Antibiotic Use at Greater Risk for Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

WHAT:

Telephone news conference to release the first study to provide state and county level estimates of the quantities of antibiotics used as feed additives for chicken, hogs and beef cattle, along with estimates for antibiotics in animal waste. Geographic concentration of feed additive use found in the report is significant because previous studies suggest people living in areas of intensive antibiotic use are at greater risk for antibiotic-resistant infections. The top 10 states in antibiotic feed use in alphabetical order: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

WHO:

Karen Florini, senior attorney, Environmental Defense

Rebecca Goldburg, Ph.D., senior scientist, Environmental Defense

Ellen Silbergeld, Ph.D., professor, Environmental Health Services, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Tamar Barlam, M.D., Board Certified Infectious Disease Physician, Boston U.

HOW:

Dial 800-311-9401. Passcode: RAND. Teleconference is for media only.

WHEN:

Wednesday, June 1, 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. EDT

Contact:

Sean Crowley 202-478-6178 (w), 202-550-6524(c) or scrowley@mrss.com

BACKGROUND:

The Environmental Defense report estimates were prepared using new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on numbers of animals per county, and multiplying those figures by estimates previously developed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) on the quantity of feed-additive antibiotics consumed per animal. UCS presented national estimates, but not state or county estimates. More than half of the antibiotics used as feed additives for chicken, hogs and beef cattle are identical or related to medicines used in human treatments.

In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences called for “substantial efforts” to reduce overuse of antibiotics in agriculture.



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