The United Nations (UN) met last week for the 71st General Assembly to discuss the proliferation of antibiotic resistance. This marks only the fourth time in history the global committee held a high-level meeting to discuss a health-related issue (the other three instances were focused on AIDS, non-communicative disease, and Ebola). Fast food companies and their suppliers are the main culprits for antibiotic-resistance in humans—which occurs when animals treated with antibiotics for a number of reasons, including to promote unnatural growth, are consumed by humans. The proliferation of antimicrobial resistance means that “superbugs”—or diseases that can no longer be treated with antibiotics—continue to kill approximately 700,000 people annually. “On current trends, a common disease like gonorrhea may become untreatable,” World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan said. “Doctors facing patients will have to say, ‘I’m sorry—there’s nothing I can do for you.’” All 193 member states signed an agreement to implement action against antibiotic resistance, and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim stated, “We must urgently change course to avert this potential crisis.” Despite this historic meeting and mounting evidence of global destruction by the animal agriculture industry, during last week’s proceedings, the UN failed to recommend the reduction of meat and dairy consumption.
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