Regulating the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis

A world in which no cure exists for strep throat, pneumonia, Lyme disease, or tetanus is closer than we might think. More than 2 million Americans suffer from antibiotic-resistant infections—know as “superbugs”—and thousands die from them each year. Recent California legislation has the potential to tackle the growing antibiotic resistance crisis, argues a legal scholar in a recent paper. But to do so, the California state government needs to invest sizable resources in fine-tuning the law’s data collection mechanisms and also make sure it does not conflict with federal law, according to Emilie Aguirre, a doctoral student at Harvard Business School. Industrial farmers routinely give antibiotics to livestock to promote growth and prevent disease-spreading in unsanitary environments. Aguirre contends that, although antibiotics may only be used in small doses in the food industry, they nevertheless contribute to the proliferation of…

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