Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chicken infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria

From: Jennifer A
Sent: April 3, 2013
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: Chicken infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria

Chicken infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria
My son was a promising young athlete at the age of fifteen with dreams of playing baseball in the major leagues -- until he ate a chicken ceasar salad that changed his life. 
The chicken he ate was contaminated with what is usually a treatable bacteria that lasts two to four days. But the strain of bacteria was a "superbug" -- an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria. That's why antibiotics failed to cure Sam. He was sick for a month, lost thirty pounds, and was too weak to try out for baseball.
My son's horrifying experience with "superbug" contaminated meat jump-started my activism in food safety, especially when I found out that kids across the country are fed the same potentially dangerous meat in school lunches. 

I'm inspired by other moms like me who have won campaigns on -- like getting "pink slime" meat removed from school lunches -- and now I'm asking the National Lunch Program run by the USDA to commit to purchasing only meat raised without antibiotics for school lunches. Click here to sign my petition. 
It took my son several months to gain his strength back after this devastating infection, but he is one of the lucky ones. Recent studies have linked the routine use of antibiotics in animals to the rise of drug-resistant infectious bacteria like MRSA, which now kills more Americans every year than AIDS. And superbugs like these are a result of unsustainable farming practices, with large-scale industrial farms using 80% of America's antibiotics!  Antibiotics are often fed to healthy animals to speed up their growth and compensate for unsanitary farm conditions.
The American Medical Association has spoken out strongly against the overuse of antibiotics in farming as the crisis of antibiotic resistance continues to spiral out of control. I cannot let our nation's children eat meat in school lunches that could make them sick -- or worse -- without putting up a fight. 
I'll be traveling to Washington, DC in April to present this petition to federal lawmakers with other families like mine. If a groundswell of consumers (and voters!) demand safe food, the pressure to supply children with meat free of superbugs will ensure changes to our broken food system.
Jennifer A.
Chicago, Illinois

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