Friday, March 18, 2011

The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animal Production Needs to Be Addressed

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidelines to curb the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food-producing animals last June. The hope is that food producers will reserve these vital antibiotics for disease treatment and prevention.  According to the FDA, in 2009 nearly 29 million pounds of antibacterial drugs (includes 3.7 million kilograms of Ionophores) were sold for animal use, almost four times the amount sold for human use that year. Data released later last year revealed that of all the antibiotics used in the United States, 80% is used in animals and the use is not to treat or prevent disease, but to make the animals gain weight faster and to compensate for the crowded conditions often found in such enormous facilities.

APUA believes that more action needs to be taken on this issue and that these guidelines will have little impact in fighting the growing threat of antibiotic resistance to public health unless the agency halts the practice and establishes a system to monitor compliance.

High-volume use of antibiotics at food animal production sites is a major contributor to the selection and transfer of resistance genes that can end up in human pathogens.

What are your thoughts on the use of antibiotics in food animal production?

For more information please contact Carol Cogliani

1 comment:

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