Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Oil Driving Spread of Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Superbugs’
By 2050, as many as 10 million people could die each year as the result of antimicrobial resistance driven by environmental pollution and irresponsible practices by the pharmaceutical, agricultural and other industries.
February 13, 2023 | Source: The Defender | by Julia Conley, Common Dreams
A new report out on Feb. 7 from the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) warns that as many as 10 million people could die from so-called “Superbugs” annually by 2050 as the result of antimicrobial resistance driven by environmental pollution and irresponsible practices from a range of industries.
The report titled, “Bracing for Superbugs,” explains how pollution from hospital wastewater, sewage discharged from pharmaceutical production facilities and run-off from animal and plant agriculture can be rife with “not only resistant microorganisms, but also antimicrobials, various pharmaceuticals, microplastics, metals, and other chemicals, which all increase the risk of AMR [antimicrobial resistance] in the environment.”
The more prevalent AMR becomes, the more likely the global community is to face a fast-spreading “superbug,” which would threaten people in wealthy countries with well-funded healthcare systems and people across the Global South alike.
Preventing the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs is just the latest reason for global policymakers to ensure “solid regulation of discharges [and] strengthening [of] wastewater treatment,” wrote U.N. researchers in the report, as UNEP executive director Inger Andersen noted that the report shows the far-reaching benefits of acting to protect the environment.