Chicago public schools to serve antibiotic-free chickens

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Rogers said the school district's announcement demonstrates that antibiotic-free farming is "mainstream and affordable."

Public health researchers have estimated that about 70 percent of antibiotics produced annually in the United States are used on healthy animals to help them grow or increase their resistance to disease. The agriculture and drug industries say keeping animals healthy benefits the public, but others are worried that overuse of antibiotics risks creating drug-resistance bacteria.

"The safety mechanisms put in place by federal government agencies have been successful in allowing veterinarians and farmers to use antibiotics to keep animals healthy while protecting public health," says the Animal Health Institute. "Studies indicate that the presence of foodborne bacteria increases when the use of antibiotics that help suppress animal diseases decreases."

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) has for several years been leading efforts in Congress to ban the use of seven classes of antibiotics critical for human health on healthy animals. Four senators — Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Blumenthal: ‘Credible case' of obstruction of justice can be made against Trump MORE (D-Calif.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Army leader on waiver report: 'There's been no change in standards' 15 Dems urge FEC to adopt new rules for online political ads MORE (D-R.I.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBarbara Boxer recounts harassment on Capitol Hill: ‘The entire audience started laughing’ 100 years of the Blue Slip courtesy Four more lawmakers say they’ve been sexually harassed by colleagues in Congress MORE (D-Calif.) — introduced companion legislation in June.