To: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

FDA: It's time for real action to save antibiotics

We cannot continue practices that promote the rise and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. The superbugs aren't taking their time.

In fact, as factory farms continue to administer antibiotics to animals that aren't sick, the superbugs are rising and spreading even more quickly. As they do, doctors are forced to use more drastic tools to fight a growing number of infections, or are losing their ability to treat patients altogether. It makes no sense to allow the routine use of antibiotics to continue.

I urge you to pass strong limits on the routine use of antibiotics on factory farms.

Why is this important?

Antibiotics are a miracle of modern medicine, and are designed to be given in precise doses, to treat specific illnesses and infections. But once big farming operations discovered that a regular dose of antibiotics promoted rapid growth and prevented disease in their livestock, they started to routinely put lifesaving medicines into the daily feed of healthy animals.

The result? Bacteria that come into contact with those animals grow resistant to antibiotics. Already two million people fall ill, and 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections -- and that was before the arrival of mcr-1, a gene carried by bacteria that can resist even our last resort antibiotics.

Superbugs aren't taking their time, and neither can we. Call on the FDA to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.