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February 03, 2010

CBS to air antibiotics and agriculture series

Update: The CBS feature has been moved to next week due to a high volume of material, which may expand the feature into a three-night series. More updates will be made on this story as information becomes available.

Tonight, CBS News with Katie Couric will air the first of a two-part series on public health risks associated with the overuse of antibiotics in industrial animal production. Antibiotics are often added to animal feed to increase growth and prevent disease in confined animal feeding operations. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that over 70 percent of antibiotics used in the U.S. are used in animal production. Such use is contributing to growing antibiotic resistant bacteria that is affecting our ability to treat disease. Just about every medical association, including the American Medical Association, American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association, have called for an end to the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture. Even many farm groupsKeep Antibiotics Working coalition are supporting the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act in Congress to address this very issue.

Ben Lilliston

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