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. In April of 2017, KFC announced their commitment to stop serving chicken raised on medically important antibiotics by the end of 2018.

These were huge victories to protect public health, but now, other major chains need to take action. 

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

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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Blog Post | Foods

Food Inc Screening Nov 9th

In order to raise awareness of government subsidized food, and of the alternatives we have available to us in the local community, OSPIRG is putting together a dinner comprised entirely of local organic foods. During the dinner our guest speaker will be discussing the implications of outdated, expensive agricultural subsidies. After our guest speaks, we will be screening Food Inc, a movie regarding the effects of government subsidies on our nation. The event is Wednesday, November 9th, at 6:00 PM in the Hawthorne Room (In the Cascade Complex, past the dish return area).

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Foods

Apples to Twinkies

America is facing an obesity epidemic – one that’s hitting children especially hard. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last three decades, with one in five kids aged 6 to 11 now obese.

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