On behalf of the chemical health industry in our region and throughout Minnesota, I would like to say a sincere thank you to state Sen. Samuelson for his work during the 2000 legislative session.
While there is still much to be done to ensure that all Minnesotans in need are able to receive and afford necessary chemical health treatment, state Sen. Samuelson and his colleagues in St. Paul took steps during this session that will be positive for Minnesota families.
In addition to ensuring that chemical health programs receive vital funding, the legislature also supported initiatives like prescription drug coverage and special counseling services for people in rural Minnesota. The legislature also defeated a proposed rate freeze that would have been harmful to those who utilize treatment facilities in our state.
As a member of the Minnesota Chemical Health Professionals it is a pleasure to be represented by an elected official who understands the need for and importance of high-quality, easily-accessible chemical health services in our communities. I also know that MARRCH members and families throughout Minnesota praise state Sen. Samuelson for his efforts and look forward to working with him in the future.
Chemical dependency counselor
An alarming report released Monday by the World Health Organization warns that routine use of antibiotics to promote livestock growth is fostering resistance of pathogens to life-saving drugs and increasing our vulnerability to the world's deadliest diseases. Bacteria, viruses, and other parasites develop resistance to antibiotics through mutation and survival of the fittest.
Half of the world's antibiotics are used in 'factory farms,' sometimes to treat illness, but mostly to promote growth. Moreover, consumption of meat and other animal products have been the chief source of food poisoning in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 88,000 Americans a year die of hospital infections, frequently resistant to common antibiotics. That number is likely to grow rapidly with increased drug resistance.
The WHO report recommends a ban on use of antibiotics in promoting livestock growth, and the European Union has already implemented such a ban. But antibiotics are an integral element of U.S. animal feed, and U.S. meat and drug industries have fiercely opposed Food and Drug Administration's attempts to limit this practice.
American consumers are getting the message loud and clear. Grains, vegetables and fresh fruits contain all the nutrients we require. They are free of infectious diseases and antibiotics. They are touted by every major health advocacy organization as the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Adopting a pure vegetarian diet is the optimal way to take good care of our bodies.
Bill L. Dyers
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