The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.” In the U.S., at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection every year, and at least 23,000 of those people die, the CDC says.
Antibiotic resistance is a global, and worsening, problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “some types of bacteria that cause serious infections in humans have already developed resistance to most or all of the available treatments, and there are very few promising options in the research pipeline.”
In November 2017, a WHO official said:
“A lack of effective antibiotics is as serious a security threat as a sudden and deadly disease outbreak. Strong, sustained action across all sectors is vital if we are to turn back the tide of antimicrobial resistance and keep the world safe."
Unfortunately, the tide isn’t turning back. In the U.S., that’s largely because lobbyists for some of the world’s biggest agribusiness corporations have successfully thwarted efforts by Congress to restrict the rampant and reckless use of antibiotics on factory farms.