Thanks to antibiotics, we live in a world where a child can cut her finger without her parents fearing for her life, and strep throat is little more than a minor inconvenience. Yet antibiotic resistance – when bacteria do not respond to the drugs designed to kill them – threatens to reverse the past century of medical advances.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria, or “superbugs," are responsible for 23,000 deaths, 8 million hospital stays, and $55 billion in health costs and lost worker productivity in the United States per year. While doctors recognize the dangers of excessive prescriptions, a lesser known contributor is the use of antibiotics on factory farms. The agriculture industry uses these drugs to encourage livestock weight gain and ward off potential infection caused by overcrowding, leading to greater meat production and higher profits.
Four times the amount of antibiotics used in human medicine is used in industrial animal agriculture. This overuse in animals leads to bacteria building up resistance, and in turn becoming difficult to treat in humans, leading to superbugs.
How is Health Care Without Harm solving the problem?
Health Care Without Harm has been collaborating with hospitals and health care facilities for more than 15 years to build a healthy and sustainable environment. One of these efforts centers on health care institutions committing to serve responsibly raised meat.
Health care food service is a $12 billion per year industry. Imagine if hospitals used that purchasing power to take a stand against the irresponsible and harmful misuse of antibiotics in our food supply.
Health Care Without Harm is doing just that. We have worked with nearly 800 hospitals across the country who have committed to serving meat raised without unnecessary antibiotics. We need your help!
We are building a safer, healthier planet. To do this, we need everyone: patients, doctors and nurses, food service professionals, farmers and ranchers, you. Together with your support, we can create a healthy future for our families, our communities, and our planet.
How will your contribution make a difference?
With past funds, we have created a movement within the health care sector to protect human and environmental health. Specifically, our past successes in protecting antibiotics include:
- We worked with the University of California San Francisco Medical Center on their groundbreaking resolution to phase out the purchase of meat raised with antibiotics. With your support, we can make this happen again and again at medical centers across the country.
- On Food Day this year, we galvanized more than 350 hospitals around the country to serve 57,000 meals that include at least one antibiotic-free meat option. Amplified over the course of a year, this represents 21 million meals and $32 million spent on meat raised without routine antibiotics. With your help, we can do more!
- Our work with the Massachusetts Hospital Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society inspired them to commit to a reduction in meats raised with routine antibiotics throughout Massachusetts’ health care facilities.
This movement needs you. Your financial support will expand our work within health care to preserve antibiotics for their intended use.
We want to build a healthy and sustainable food system a healthy and sustainable planet. We hope you will join us.