What's at stake
Up to 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are fed to healthy animals. These life-saving drugs are often mixed in with animal feed or water at industrial-scale farms - not to treat disease but rather to promote faster growth and to compensate for stressful, crowded conditions. This overuse of antibiotics in food animal production contributes to the rise of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, effectively making these wonder drugs useless to fighting diseases in humans. Beyond impacts in humans, farm-bred resistant bacteria can also contaminate air, water, soil and wildlife
In addition, with growing seafood demand, improving the sustainability of wild-caught and farmed seafood is necessary to protect our oceans and seafood supplies into the future. While some forms of aquaculture hold promise as sustainable options to meet seafood demand, the practices used to farm many species can result in the loss of natural habitat, release of waste, spread of disease, and the introduction of foreign species that harm native fish.
What companies can do
- Working with your suppliers or your own operations as appropriate, establish policies to eliminate the use of medically important antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry and meat. Read more about sustainable antibiotics policies.
- Improve seafood purchasing policies - To encourage sustainable seafood production. Read about farmed shrimp.
- Select the right fish - To help sustain wild stocks and support healthier aquaculture, avoid fish whose mass consumption hurts our ecosystems. EDF's Seafood Selector
- Offer healthy choices to consumers - Guard customers well being as well as the planet’s by shunning any seafood that appears on EDF's Health Alert List.
Resources to help
- Compare best and worst seafood choices for your organization