Factory farms weaken antibiotics, Americans

To the editor:

Many public health experts think that we are entering a post-antibiotic era. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 23,000 Americans a year die from antibiotic-resistant infections and millions more get sick.

Most antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bred on factory farms where our meats are produced with the routine use of antibiotics on animals, most of which aren't even sick. I have used antibiotics in the past for routine illnesses such as ear infections or strep throat. I could not fathom a time where antibiotics won't work, but I can see it just on the horizon.

This issue is so urgent to me that on my spring break, instead of sitting around at home or going on vacation, I am knocking on doors and informing people of the urgency of this issue. Within the past year, McDonald's and Subway made commitments to help save antibiotics. The next step is to call upon KFC to stop serving chicken raised on routine antibiotics.

Edward Laird, Pittsfield The writer is a Berkshire Community College student.