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Local group calls for change in antibiotic use on farm animals

 MADISON -- Doctors who joined the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group's press conference are warning about farmers who give their healthy animals a steady stream of antibiotics.


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10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">\"Bacteria are highly adaptable and are very likely to become resistant to prolonged or repeated exposure to antibiotics.\" said Dr. Carol Spiegel, a microbiology professor at UW-Madison.


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10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">Doctors say more than 70 percent of the antibiotics used in human medicine are given to animals many people eat.


10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">Farmers used to do it to make their animals grow bigger, now they're using it to prevent disease. Something the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows.


10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">Doctors say that is still severe overuse, and is creating a sort of breeding ground for potential superbugs.


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10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">\"We have bacteria that used to be easily treated with standard antibiotics that are now resistant to those standard antibiotics.\" said Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician.


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10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">Doctors say this isn't some hard to imagine theory. They say bacteria can mutate inside the animals, become resistant to antibiotics, and then spread to humans.


10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">And the F.D.A. has already officially recognized part of this as a potential problem, but WISPIRG wants them to go further and stop the preventative use.


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10.0pt;font-family:\"Microsoft Sans Serif\",\"sans-serif\"\">\"Our message today is clear. The Obama Administration should immediately restrict the use of antibiotics in livestock to cases of animal sickness or direct disease exposure.\" said Ben Knuth, a campaign coordinator for WISPIRG.

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