National Consumers League

NCL commends President’s actions to reduce antibiotic resistance

September 18, 2014

Contact: Ben Klein, National Consumers League,, (202) 835-3323

Washington, DC - The National Consumers League (NCL), the country’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, commends the President’s issuance of an Executive Order to combat antibiotic resistance. The order, signed Thursday, establishes a presidential Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, which will be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Defense, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services (HHS). The Task Force is charged, with a deadline of February 2015, with creating a five-year National Action Plan to reduce antimicrobial resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat to Americans’ health, causing 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cost of illnesses caused by antimicrobial resistance are estimated to be over $50 billion, with $20 billion lost in health care costs and $35 billion lost in productivity due to hospitalizations and sick days. Antibiotic resistance stems from the overuse of antibiotics in both humans and animals.

“Antibiotic resistance is not an issue consumers can afford to take lightly,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “The President’s efforts have come not a moment too soon. It is vital to Americans’ health that actions are taken to track and diminish the increasing amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing illness.”

In conjunction with the Executive Order, the administration also released a National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and the Presidents’ Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is releasing a related report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance.

The Executive Order, the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, and the PCAST report can be found here.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit