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 FeinsteinGun proposal picks up GOP support Gingrich: Banning rapid fire gun modification is ‘common sense’ House bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance MORE (D-Calif.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGun proposal picks up GOP support Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns Agricultural trade demands investment in MAP and FMD MORE (R-Maine), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedTop general says Iran complying with nuclear deal Top general: Transgender troops shouldn't be separated from military Dems ask FEC to create new rules in response to Russian Facebook ads MORE (D-R.I.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTrump riles Dems with pick for powerful EPA job Pelosi's chief of staff stepping down Time is now to address infrastructure needs MORE (D-Calif.) — introduced companion legislation in June.