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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 FeinsteinLawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Senate Democrats call on Biden to restore oversight of semiautomatic and sniper rifle exports Overnight Defense: Army moves to combat sexual crimes | Eight West Point cadets expelled | Democratic senators want to restrict F-35 sale to UAE MORE (D-Calif.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate locks in hate crimes deal, setting up Thursday passage Bipartisan group of senators holds immigration talks amid border surge Senate GOP keeps symbolic earmark ban MORE (R-Maine), Jack ReedJack ReedHarris casts tiebreaking vote to advance Biden nominee Five questions about Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  MORE (D-R.I.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBottom line Trump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status MORE (D-Calif.) — introduced companion legislation in June.