Azzad joins call for food industry to end use of antibiotics on livestock
FALLS CHURCH, VA, September 19, 2016 — Azzad Asset Management, investment advisor to the Azzad Funds, announced today that it has joined a consortium of responsible investors and shareholder advocacy groups in support of a United Nations’ call to end antibiotic use in global food supply chains.
Organized by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR), ShareAction, and As You Sow, the global investor statement on antibiotic use in livestock is intended to raise awareness of investors’ work on this issue. The statement comes as the UN High Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) convenes this week in New York.
The letter states in part:
As shareholders we urge animal health and food companies, including meat producers, restaurants and retailers, to end the use of antibiotics important to human medicine in their operations and global supply chains. Given the overuse of antibiotics’ contribution to AMR, we view this meeting as a potential watershed moment for concerned stakeholders and for the industry. As part of achieving the objective of the High-Level Meeting, we believe it is important to highlight the impact of livestock production on rising antibiotic resistance. And in particular, shine a light on the role and responsibility of businesses – across the agricultural supply chain – to address the practices that are contributing to antimicrobial resistance.
The statement goes on to call for UN member nations to bring clarity to antibiotic use recommendations through national and regional regulations, which signatories believe will help make public health paramount in the global food system.
According to the ICCR, of which Azzad is a member, antibiotics are frequently used for rapid growth promotion in livestock and poultry and to prevent illness in animals living in cramped and unhealthy conditions. The FDA estimates that animal agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all antibiotic use in the United States.
Experts say that the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in the meat industry has contributed to the rise of antibiotic resistance in the US and across the world. It is estimated that this public health issue is responsible for 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year.
Azzad Asset Management, investment advisor to the Azzad Funds and sponsor of the Azzad Ethical Wrap Program, is committed to providing investment services designed to help people enjoy optimum performance without compromising their values. Azzad is a member of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions. The firm, based outside Washington, D.C., is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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