Thursday, July 15, 2010

Feds, even USDA, say use of antibiotics in animals leads to drug-resistant diseases in humans

"There is a clear link between the use of antibiotics in livestock and drug resistance in humans, President Barack Obama's administration says, a position sharply at odds with agribusiness interests." That's the pithy report from Philip Brasher, Washington correpsondent from The Des Moines Register, on yesterday's hearing before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, held in the wake of the Food and Drug Administration's suggestion to ban the use of most antibiotics as promoters of growth in hogs, chickens and other livestock. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D.-N.Y., has a bill (HR 1549) to do that, but administrative regulation seems more likely.

"Even the Agriculture Department, which livestock producers have traditionally relied on to advocate for their interests, backed the idea of a link between animal use of antibiotics and human health," Brasher notes, citing testimony from USDA's chief veterinarian. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also weighed in, buttressing the argument that overuse of antibiotics creates resistant strains of disease in animals and humans. Richard Carnevale of the Animal Health Institute, a lobby for animal-antibiotic manufacturers, said there is "no unequivocal evidence" of a connection between them and human drug resistance. (Read more) For a detailed report on the issue, see this week's edition of the Washington newsletter Agri-Pulse.

1 comment:

Jennie Wilson said...

Thanks for the information and links!