Guy in a Halloween costume – or campaign mascot? It’s probably a little tougher than usual to tell on Halloween but folks on the streets of Berkeley today encountered Joe the Pig asking Trader Joe’s to ‘get me off drugs’ and, in the spirit of the day, handing out ‘superbug’ Halloween candy to customers.
It’s our way of celebrating the season in our ongoing ask to Trader Joe’s to stop selling meat raised on antibiotics. The all-too-common practice of dosing factory farm animals with these drugs is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, and creating superbugs that are harder to cure.
While we didn’t send him any of our superbug candy (although maybe we should’ve?), we did send Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane a special Halloween letter reiterating our ask for his company to end the sale of meat raised on antibiotics, accompanied by a plethora of recent articles and op-eds about the overuse of these drugs in livestock production.
In the wake of the CDC’s recent report about the growing – and deadly – problem of antibiotic resistance, coupled with the ongoing outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in Foster Farms chicken, media outlets have had plenty to say about the need for livestock producers to rein in the overuse of antibiotics in animals.
Says the letter: “If you don’t believe us about how the overuse of antibiotics in healthy livestock promotes dangerous drug resistant superbugs and makes antibiotics less effective for humans, we urge you to read Newsweek, the New York Times, USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, all of which have published articles in the last month about the looming public health crisis caused by this reckless practice.”
You can send your own Halloween message to Trader Joe’s. Call or write the company. Tell ’em they can skip the ghouls and ghosts this year… superbugs are real and scary enough, and Trader Joe’s should do what they can to keep our antibiotics working.