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An antibiotics remedy

March 26, 2009

Re "Resisting antibiotics," editorial, March 19

Your editorial correctly highlights the dangers of the routine provision of low doses of antibiotics to farm animals that are not sick. While your editorial highlights legislation at the federal level, those concerned about this issue should also support California's SB 416, which would prohibit the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production in California.

The routine use of antibiotics in animal feed contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can then be transferred to humans, jeopardizing their health. That's why the European Union has prohibited the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics, and the World Health Organization recommends a similar prohibition.

While Congress' action is most welcome, Californians should not wait for the federal government.

Mark Schlosberg

San Francisco

The writer is California director of Food & Water Watch.

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