Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics

What if antibiotics stopped working?

We are at risk of entering the post-antibiotic era. Since their introduction, antibiotics have been a staple in protecting the public health. However, their overuse has led to the creation of "superbugs," which cause illnesses that can't be cured. Last year 2 million Americans got antibiotic resistant infections, and 23,000 people died. This is happening partly because 70% of antibiotics are sold to factory farms, where they are used on animals that often aren't even sick. We have to stop the overuse of antibiotics, and protect our life-saving drugs.

In March 2015, we helped convince McDonald’s to stop serving chicken raised on our life-saving medicines. Shortly after, Tyson Foods, a major chicken producer and McDonald's supplier, followed suit. Then, in October, we convinced Subway, with more restaurants than any other chain in the United States, to make a commitment to stop serving any meat raised on antibiotics, starting with chicken by the end of 2016.

These were huge victories to protect public health, but now, other major chains need to take action. That's why we're focusing on KFC — the largest chain of fried chicken restaurants in the world.

KFC recently took a step in the right direction by updating their antibiotics policy, but it's not strong enough to fully protect our life-saving medicines. So we're calling on KFC to go further — and if they do, it could lead to a majority of the U.S. chicken industry raising their chickens without medically-important antibiotics.

Unsurprisingly, the industry is fighting back, trying to confuse consumers with misleading arguments about whether these commitments mean sick animals won't get treatment. But we know that's not true, and not the problem here. The problem is that farms are giving antibiotics to animals in their daily feed as a preventative measure — not just to treat sick animals. That's why our call is for meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics.

With thousands of Americans dying, and millions more getting sick from antibiotic-resistant infections every year, it's time for more chains to follow the lead of Subway, McDonald's, and many others.

If we don’t take decisive action soon, we could face a world in which life-saving antibiotics no longer work. This is why we need your help today. 

Campaign Updates

OSPIRG Kicking off Their 2017 Campaigns

OSPIRG is back in full swing with new and existing missions including the existing “Save the Bees” campaign and their upcoming project called “Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics.” 

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Report | OSPIRG Students | Consumer Protection, Public Health

Trouble in Toyland 2013

The 2013 Trouble in Toyland report is the 28th annual OSPIRG survey of toy safety. In this report, OSPIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Foods, Waste

Stop Subsidizing Junk Food: Galley Closing and Panel

Government subsidies that benefit big agribusinesses, like Monsanto and Cargill, have made products like corn syrup so cheap that it's less expensive to buy a Twinkle than a bunch of carrots. The majority of these subsidies go to less than 10% of farms in America, and yet these farms receive more than $245 billion to grow only a handful of cash crops that are made into unhealthy, processed foods. It should come as no suprise to us then that childhood obesity has more than quadrupled in the last forty years. We need to end this wasteful government spending program.

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Media Hit | Foods

OSPIRG Works To Combat Unhealth Food Subsidies

It makes no sense that a box of Twinkies is less expensive than a bag of carrots

 

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Blog Post | Corporate, Foods

Momentum building for stopping wasteful agricultural subsidies

As the year comes to a close, we have hit several important milestones in our campaign - run jointly with PIRGs in over 20 states - to end wasteful agricultural subsidies that line the pockets of the largest agribusinesses and go to corn syrup and other junk food ingredients. Since we launched this campaign last Spring, we educated half a million people across the country — including tens of thousands in Oregon — about these subsidies. Over 150 Oregon small farmers have joined our effort.

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