Welcome, we're glad you're learning about our work.
Steve Roach, MA, FACT Food Safety Director
Welcome to the new blog for the Keep Antibiotics Working (KAW) Coalition. We created this blog for KAW coalition members to provide information about the dangers of “superbugs” and share actions to stop their spread on farms nationwide.
Formed in 2001, KAW is a coalition of 17 advocacy groups that joined to ensure that untreatable superbugs resulting from the overuse of antibiotics on farms do not reverse the medical advances of the past century.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, superbug bacteria already cause more than two million illnesses and 23 thousand deaths in the U.S. each year. 400,000--or about 20 percent--of these illnesses come from farms and food.
The number of effective antibiotics is shrinking over time and with increasing frequency, illness from superbugs is completely untreatable. When infection does not prove deadly, superbugs are treated with alternative antibiotics that may be more expensive, have worse side effects, or be difficult to administer.
Human medicine and animal agriculture drive the creation and spread of superbugs. Farms play a significant role – 70% of antibiotics are given to food animals. Generally, the more antibiotics are used by farmers and patients, the more resistant superbugs are created.
KAW members and guests will post on this blog twice a month about the science, legislation, and practices affecting antibiotic resistance. Keep an eye out for our next post – we’ll provide alerts when you can act to help us affect change. In the meantime, you can read about KAW’s primary recommendations for stopping the spread of superbugs here.