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Obama, FDA need to crack down on antibiotics in factory farms

I appreciate the attention brought to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Kate Kelland's article "Drug-resistant superbug found in 1915 soldier killed by dysentery" (Nov. 6). It is incredible to think that about 100 years ago antibiotic resistance was already a problem. It's shocking and makes me extremely concerned for the current state of antibiotic resistance and what it can become. As we continue to abuse our limited supply of antibiotics, especially by feeding them to healthy animals in factory farms, antibiotic resistant infections increase.

I have learned about this growing issue of antibiotic resistance as a public health student at Johns Hopkins. In the United States alone, 70 percent of antibiotics used in human medicine go to healthy animals in factory farms. These conditions allow for the growth of antibiotic resistant super bugs that are transferred to workers and the rest of the population. For the past three years I have dealt with a condition that seriously compromises my immune system, making me more susceptible to these superbugs. I'm not only concerned about my health but also the growing number of Americans who fall ill, and sometimes die, from these resistant infections each year.

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Now that we have knowledge about the history of antibiotic resistance and its perpetuation, it makes no sense that the Food and Drug Administration and President Barack Obama have not created regulation for the abuse of antibiotics in factory farms. This issue is way too far reaching not to be addressed.

Matthew Bee, Baltimore

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