Evanston aldermen will be asked Monday to adopt a resolution urging the state and federal governments to ban so-called non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in raising animals.

At Wednesday night’s Human Services Committee meeting Jessica Fujan the Midwest organizaer for the activist group Food and Water Watch, said the routine use of antibiotics in the feed given to animals at factory farms is reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics for treatment of serious human medical conditions by generating resistance to the medicines in infectious disease microbes.

Fujan said 17 other cities around the country have already adopted similar resolutions.

The measure came to the aldermen with a favorable recommendation from the city’s health director, Evonda Thomas-Smith, who said two proposed federal laws H.R. 1150 and S. 1256 would address the overuse of antibiotics in livestock production while still allowing farmers to use antibiotics to treat sick animals under veterinary supervision.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, said she thinks it’s wonderful that U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D – Evanston) is supporting the restrictions, “but I think this is not appropriate for our City Council.”

“If you were asking for a ban on the sale of meat with antibiotics in Evanston,” Fiske said, she might support it, but that advisory resolutions like the one proposed “are just not appropriate for this legislative body.”

Alderman Coleen Burrus.

But Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, said she beleived the resolution “was exactly appropriate for us” and thanked staff and Fujan for raising the issue.

The committee voted 3-2 to send the resolution to the full City Council. Fiske was joined by Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, in voting no.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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