Scientists from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) are urging hospitals to stop serving meat and poultry from animals raised with antibiotics.
Pointing to a possible link between human antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, the UCSF scientists wrote a letter that was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health. Michael Martin, MD, assistant clinical professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF was the lead author of the piece that was co-written by UCSF colleagues Sapna E. Thottathil, PhD, and Thomas B. Newman, MD.
“Hospitals have a moral responsibility to serve the community and patients,” said Martin.
The letter was published just days after the authors’ own governor the nation’s strictest law concerning antibiotics in animal agriculture. Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 27, which calls for an end to antibiotic growth promoters in livestock and poultry. It also requires that medically important antibiotics only be administered when ordered by a veterinarian. The provisions of the law will take effect at the first of 2018.
Many meat and poultry producers based in California had already been active in antibiotic-free production. For example, Foster Farms in 2015 launched the Foster Farms Organic and Foster Farms Simply Raised antibiotic-free chicken. Its first antibiotic-free turkey product, Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey, was introduced in July.