CHICAGO (CBS) — Several doctors and consumer advocates in Chicago on Thursday warned there’s a much bigger threat to Americans’ health than Ebola: drug-resistant bacteria.
“We have to worry about Ebola, but there were 23,000 deaths due to antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States in the last year,” said Dr. Susan Boyle-Vavra, lab director for the University of Chicago’s MRSA Research Center.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports Boyle-Vavra joined other doctors and officials with Consumers Union – the policy division of Consumer Reports – and the Illinois Public Interest Research Group to discuss their concern about the meat industry’s practice of using antibiotics on healthy animals.
Doctors and consumer groups said large livestock producers routinely administer antibiotics to healthy animals, which encourages the evolution of life-threatening antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
“There’s no excuse for this. They take antibiotics. They feed them at sub-inhibitory doses to the animals. This way they don’t have to feed them more food, which increases their profits,” Boyle-Vavra said.