By Alicia LaPorte, Fair Farms Campaign Manager, and Raimee Eck, Maryland Public Health Association President.…
Sounding Alarm Bells on Antibiotics
November 8, 2016
As the executive director for Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility (Chesapeake PSR), I lead the organization in recruiting, training and engaging credible health care professionals, scientists and organizations in advocating on important health and social justice issues. Therefore, we were thrilled to see that just weeks ago the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), a statewide professional association for licensed physicians, issued a strong resolution in support of “curbing routine antibiotic use in food production.”
MedChi’s resolution is significant because health care professionals tend to be very cautious when involving themselves in political issues. However, health care professionals know this isn’t a political issue – it’s a public health issue that affects every medical professional and every person in this country. As a Fair Farms partner, I know there are many of you in this good food movement that are also medical and public health professionals and scientists. Please get involved with this campaign.
People listen to medical and health professionals, and they will listen to you.
Scientists & health care professionals: Click here to add your name.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant human health issues of our generation—and it is completely avoidable if we take proper precautionary steps. Reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics in animals and livestock is one of the most critical steps we can take in ensuring public health—and we have to do so now. Many countries realize the urgency and are taking action. In the United States, however, our slow pace of progress in reigning in irresponsible antibiotics use in agriculture is another sign that we are beholden to industry interests that are too often allowed to trump public health.
That’s why the public needs health care professionals to step up to the plate. It’s perfectly appropriate for our community to be advocates on this issue. Simply put, people listen to us when we sound alarm bells. After all, our work shouldn’t just be about treating the problem, but also about preventing the problem. So, if you’re a nurse or a doctor, a physician assistant or scientist, a pharmacist or public health researcher, or any other of the wonderful healthcare professionals who are promoting public health, please join Fair Farms in urging the Maryland General Assembly to pass a strong statewide law.
Over the coming months, Fair Farms will contact you as the legislation is moving forward and provide you with opportunities to lift up your voice and make a real difference. For everyone else reading this: don’t forget you can also ask your own health care providers to join the movement, and any friends, relatives or neighbors in these professions.
For Fair Farms,