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Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming and Health Care Without Harm to Hold Audio News Conference Calling for an End to the Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Drug News J E 4
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Dozens of Hospitals Announce Decision to Buy Meat Raised without Antibiotics to Ensure Patient Health

On the eve of a July 14 hearing conducted by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health to examine the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm, will hold an audio news conference on the need to end the overuse of these drugs in meat production. The call is scheduled for 11:00 AM ET on Tuesday, July 13.

During the news conference, Health Care Without Harm will announce the numbers of hospitals and clinicians that support elimination of the routine use of antibiotics and that are changing their purchasing practices to include only meat raised without antibiotics.

WHAT: News conference on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture

WHEN: Tuesday, July 13, 2010

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

WHERE: Conference call number, 1-800-247-5110

Pass code, PAMTA

WHO: U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), lead sponsor of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act/H.R. 1549 (invited)

Jamie Harvie, Institute for a Sustainable Future, chair of Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative, Duluth, MN

Dr. Lance Price, director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute's Center for Metagenomics and Human Health, Flagstaff, AZ

Diane Imrie, R.D., director, Food Services, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT

Dr. Gail Hansen, July 14 hearing witness and senior officer of the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, Washington, D.C.

Laura Rogers, project director of the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, Washington, D.C. (moderator)

Experts estimate that up to 70 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are given to healthy food animals on industrial farms to promote growth and compensate for the effects of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. Four decades of scientific research has demonstrated that feeding antibiotics to food animals over a long period of time promotes the development of dangerous strains of drug-resistant bacteria that can infect humans who work with these animals or process or consume their meat. Despite supply chain obstacles, the healthcare community is using its purchasing power to shift toward meat and poultry produced without antibiotics and is advocating for restrictions on the non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics.

The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming is a joint effort of the Pew Health Group and the Pew Environment Group working to phase-out the routine use of antibiotics in food animal production. Learn more at www.saveantibiotics.org.

HCWH is an international coalition of more than 430 organizations in 52 countries, working to transform the health care industry worldwide so that it is ecologically sustainable. HCWH has an ambitious healthy food agenda, which includes buying fresh food locally and/or buying certified organic food; avoiding food raised with growth hormones and antibiotics; supporting local farmers and farming organizations; introducing farmers markets and on-site food box programs; reducing food waste; and establishing an overarching food policy at each health facility. More than 300 hospitals have signed the HCWH "Healthy Food in Healthcare Pledge." Signers pledge to work toward developing sustainable food systems in their facilities. To learn more about HCWH's work on food and other issues related to health care, visit www.healthyfoodinhealthcare.org.

CONTACT: Linda Paris, Pew Health Group, +1-202-540-6354, lparis@pewtrusts.org

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- July 12/

SOURCE Pew Health Group
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