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 FeinsteinGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Dem senators urged Obama to take action on Russia before election Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference MORE (D-Calif.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsPaul: ‘I get the sense we’re still at an impasse’ on healthcare Medicaid becomes big threat to GOP’s healthcare revival Healthcare wish lists: What moderates, conservatives want MORE (R-Maine), Jack ReedJack ReedSenate panel passes 0B defense policy bill Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity 3 tips for President Trump before he outsources his duties to Mattis MORE (D-R.I.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs MORE (D-Calif.) — introduced companion legislation in June.