Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Livestock industry wary of FDA's crackdown on antibiotics

Many in the livestock industry have been vocal in their disapproval of the Food and Drug Administration restricting antibiotic usage in healthy animals. Now, some are alleging the decision is being made for political rather than medical reasons. In a letter to Congress in July, Dr.Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cited "compelling evidence" of a "clear link between antibiotic use in animals and antibiotic resistance in humans," Erik Eckholm of The New York Times reports. Still, the National Pork Producers Council claims, "There is no conclusive scientific evidence that antibiotics used in food animals have a significant impact on the effectiveness of antibiotics in people."
"In the end, the producers will do what is right," Craig Rowles, proprietor of Elite Pork and a trained veterinarian, told Eckholm. "We will make sure we deliver a product that meets the needs of consumers. My only concern is that we make decisions in a scientific fashion, not a political fashion." FDA appears ready to "issue its strongest guidelines on animal antibiotics yet, intended to reduce what it calls a clear risk to human health," Eckholm writes. Final version of the rules are expected within months. You can read our most recent item about antibiotic use in the livestock industry here.

 Drug use in humans has been linked to antibiotic resistant infections, but now scientists say mounting evidence of antibiotic use in agriculture is contributing, as well. "Is producing the cheapest food in the world our only goal?" asked Dr. Gail R. Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has campaigned for new limits on farm antibiotics. "Those who say there is no evidence of risk are discounting 40 years of science. To wait until there’s nothing we can do about it doesn’t seem like the wisest course." (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be easier to list the antibiotics I'm not allergic to than the ones I am allergic to. I mean, throat swelling shut, going to strangle to death type of allergic reactions. I probably will die of some easily treatable disease simply because I can't take the cure for it. I blame agriculture for that.