Alliance Statement on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Report

September 22, 2014 – The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) today released a report detailing the important measures being taken to combat antimicrobial resistance. The Animal Agriculture Alliance knows and understands that antibiotic resistance is a serious public health threat and applauds the Council for its recognition of the efforts already underway in the animal agriculture community to address resistance issues.

 

Like the 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on antibiotic resistance, President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report provides an important perspective and context on antibiotic resistance and the role of both human and animal medicine. Shortly after the report was released, the animal agriculture industries were quick to show their agreement with the report’s recommendations:

“The poultry industry realizes the importance of preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics, in both humans and animals, and minimizing the potential for resistant bacteria. Our industry is dedicated to protecting human health, producing wholesome food and providing a safe, healthy environment for poultry,” said Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.

“Individual government agencies will begin discussing their plans on Friday, and we hope those plans further advance a comprehensive approach to this issue. The turkey industry remains committed to the safe, proper use of antibiotics in treating people and animals,” said Keith Williams, Vice President of Communications at the National Turkey Federation.

“As a cattle producer I am a firm supporter of the responsible and judicious use of antibiotics, and for more than two decades our industry has shown that support by working together through the Beef Quality Assurance program to educate ranchers about the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics,” said Philip Ellis, NCBA president-elect.“While we will continue to evaluate this report, I was pleased that the President’s council recognized that combating resistance will require efforts in human healthcare, drug development and surveillance, in addition to animal agriculture.”

“With the release of today’s report on combatting antibiotic resistant bacteria (CARB), the White House acknowledged something that the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has been stating for years – that more epidemiological research is needed to understand the key drivers of increased
antibiotic resistance,” said NPPC President Howard Hill, a veterinarian and pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa.

According to the Animal Health Institute (AHI), The PCAST report also joins the CDC report in supporting FDA’s policy on judicious use of antibiotics in food producing animals. Judicious use of antibiotics is important in all settings, including agriculture. That’s why everyone in animal agriculture – animal health companies, farmers, ranchers and veterinarians – are working together to implement FDA’s policy to phase out the use of antibiotics to promote growth and phase in veterinarian oversight. Every company with animal health products affected by this policy has affirmed their intent to comply with FDA’s policy. As a result of FDA’s judicious use policy, all medically important antibiotics used in food animals will be used to fight disease and will be administered under the
supervision of a veterinarian.

The report recognizes the important role of carefully using antibiotics to prevent disease. Every day, veterinarians make prudent choices about how to care for food animals to protect both human and animal health. Prevention of disease is an important principle in both public health and veterinary medicine. Prevention in veterinary medicine is evidence-based, meaning the veterinarian prescribing an antibiotic labeled for prevention must have evidence that there is a threat from the disease or the bacteria named on the label. As Dr. Eric Lander, a member of PCAST and co-chair of the organization’s report, stated: “Veterinarians will be responsible.”

About the Alliance:
The Animal Agriculture Alliance is an industry-united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. We connect key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues. We engage food chain influencers and promote consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. We protect by exposing those who threaten our nation’s food security with damaging misinformation. Find the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter.

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