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Response to Katie Couric’s Report on Antibiotic Use in Farms

The media is once again blasting the American farm.

This information is from: http://www.radiowebservices.com/posts/show/3739c18e-effb-48d1-ad91-19d4c4568854

    * FDA-approved antibiotics are used in a targeted manner – when animals are sick or exposed to disease – to prevent, control and treat livestock and poultry diseases. Some are also used to enhance growth and nutritional efficiency of the animals and birds. All FDA-approved antibiotics must meet/exceed rigorous animal and human food safety standards.
    * FDA-approved antibiotics protect the health of animals, ensuring a safe, compassionate, sustainable, affordable and reliable food supply for consumers.
    * Studies demonstrate judiciously used antibiotics actually contribute to reduced risks of bacterial contamination of meat and dairy. Banning these products will cause animal suffering, reduce farm income, and work against making food safer.
    * FDA-approved antibiotics are added to feed because this is the most efficient way in which to reach entire herds and flocks with these important animal health products. The amount of antibiotic in a specific feed is set by FDA – generally in grams per ton of feed – and these feeds can only be mixed by facilities operating on federal regulations specifying Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and are inspected on a regular basis by FDA and state inspectors.
    * FDA conducts not only pre-approval review of all antibiotics used in feed, it maintains stringent post-approval monitoring, participates in USDA’s routine residue monitoring programs, cooperates in “responsible” and “judicious” use programs with veterinarians, farmers and ranchers, and actively tracks patterns of antibiotic resistance in humans.
    * There is no “smoking-gun” science establishing the link between on-farm antibiotic use and human resistance.  However, there are mountains of data showing a link between over-prescription in human medicine and hospital-acquired infections.
    * Legislation to ban antibiotic use is naïve and shows a basic lack of understanding of how the products are used, how much is used, how they’re regulated and the impact on animal welfare, food quality, safety and affordability, and human health.
    * Critics assert 70% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are fed to food animals for non-therapeutic purposes. There is no basis for this claim, nor do activists attempt to explain the number. The number is an agenda-driven number. To reach the 70% number means critics include drugs approved years ago, but never sold in the U.S., include products specifically developed for farm animals with no human medical use, and assume farmers medicate all animals throughout their entire lives at the maximum permitted dosage.  All wrong.
    * The “Danish experience” is anything but a success. European reports, interviews with Danish producers and veterinarians and others familiar with the aftermath of the ban on growth promotion and feed efficiency uses of the products, demonstrate a re-emergence of swine diseases not seen in Denmark for decades; a near-100% increase in the use of antibiotics to treat sick animals, and no material impact on human resistance, reaffirmed by the findings of a congressional fact-finding mission to Denmark in December 2009.


Here is a short video from the Iowa Turkey Federation on antibiotic use.


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