Washington, D.C.—In a new public service announcement released today by Food & Water Watch, Hollywood celebrities called for legislation to help stop the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms. (Specifically, H.R. 1150, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, or PAMTA, and S. 1256, the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act, or PARA.)
The vast majority of antibiotics sold in the U.S. (an estimated 80 percent) are used for agriculture and most of these drugs are routinely fed to animals to compensate for filthy, crowded living conditions on factory farms—a practice leading to the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration has known about the problem of antibiotics misuse since at least 1977, but has not required factory farms to stop this dangerous practice.
The public service announcement features the following quotes from celebrities:
Raphael Sbarge: “Well known antibiotics are proving less and less effective every year, and people across America are starting to wonder why.”
Ed Begley, Jr.: “According to the Centers for Disease Control, 23,000 Americans die each year because of these superbugs.”
Lance Bass: “Even if you don’t eat meat, or live near a factory farm, the failure of antibiotics impacts you.”
Frances Fisher: “As long as big agribusiness and pharmaceutical companies can turn a profit pumping animals with antibiotics, these superbugs will continue to grow.”
The 1:19 minute video, produced in conjunction with Appeal to Reason Productions, also features Francesca Eastwood and Dawn Olivieri. All celebrities that appeared in the video are board members of the Environmental Media Association.
“Powerful industries are using their political power to weaken any attempt at regulation, despite scientific evidence that factory farms are contributing to the ineffectiveness of antibiotics,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Factory farms aren’t just dirty—they are literally a public health hazard, and we need legislation to protect these lifesaving medicines for the rest of us.”
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-2500, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org.
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.