LETTERS: Don’t ignore peril of antibiotic-resistant infections

SHARE LETTERS: Don’t ignore peril of antibiotic-resistant infections

A man eats a chicken sandwich at a McDonald’s restaurant in Oak Brook in 2015.
McDonalds has said it will start globally rolling back use of antibiotics in its chicken products as part of efforts to curb microbial resistance to drugs and the rise of superbugs. | MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control study, roughly 23,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant infections each year. That’s as many needless deaths as there are students in all of DePaul University. Every year. And that number will only grow without immediate action.

If these deaths had any other cause, we wouldn’t stand for it. So why turn a blind eye to a growing public health crisis? In the past few years major restaurants like KFC, Subway and McDonald’s have taken the problem head-on by removing antibiotics from their chicken supply. In fact, just this summer, McDonald’s announced that it is beginning to source all of its meat from responsible farms that only use antibiotics on animals that are actually sick.

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I’m glad that McDonald’s is working to reduce antibiotics in its supply chain worldwide. But they say that doing what they’ve done with chicken will be a heavier lift for pork and beef because of the way it’s produced. Well, Illinois should make it easier for them and other buyers to do the right thing for all of our sakes. Our state needs to pass legislation restricting antibiotic use – across all livestock – to animals that are actually sick. That way, other suppliers will make the shift the same way McDonald’s has with its chicken and is doing with its beef and pork. Plus, businesses like McDonald’s that want to reduce antibiotic use will have an easier time and face a more level playing field.

If we want corporations to do the right thing for health, we need to lead the way.

Quinn Dunlea, South Loop

Quick help for Houston

During World War II, the government had the Seabees and the Corp of Engineers construct airplane hanger-type buildings. They were put up in a matter of hours. Also built were short bridges.

Maybe they can do the the same for the people in the Houston area. It could alleviate some of the overcrowded shelters. They could use them to store needed equipment and be a workplace during the rebuilding phase. It would also help the mental state of the unfortunate residents.

Bob Gorecki, Uptown

Commendable action

PAWS, the Anti-Cruelty Society and many other humane societies merit commendation for bringing Houston shelter animals here from the flood-ravaged region. This compassionate endeavor will enable the human victims of the hurricane to be reunited with their beloved canines, felines and other companion animals. Houston and its residents are traumatized, besieged and heartbroken.

The reality of them being together again with their respective pets can provide them with comfort and solace during the most grievous and tragic hours of emotional pain and suffering that they have ever experienced.

Brien Comerford, Glenview

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