In this file:
Antibiotics to be debated on Capital Hill
KTIC (NE) - Jan 7, 2013
Besides drought, high feed prices, volatile markets, cattlemen will face a new challenge in 2013 with the expiration of the Animal Drug User Fee Act,(known as ADUFA) That is the Food and Drug Administration program is used test all veterinary medicine products, so it can be released. NAIFA is reauthorized every five years. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, National Cattlemens Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says ADUFA will expire this year.
Unfortunately ADUFA becomes a platform for activist organizations to come after the ag industry and deny livestock producers this health tool. When ADUFA is brought to Congress, Woodall says this lobby against antibiotics by spreading false information.
That's far from the reality. Woodall says antibiotics for animals undergo more stringent testing than the antibiotics used in human health. Prior to harvesting an animal for human consumption, producer are required to follow withdrawal requirements. Woodall says that allows all antibiotics to out animal's system before that animal can be turned into beef.
Until this week there has been a lot of attention on the election and on the country going over the fiscal cliff. As the 113th United States Congress is underway in Washington DC, NCBA and other groups will begin lobbying in support of ADUFA. With a democratic controlled Senate and a Republican controlled House Woodall anticipates there will be a lot deadlock.
For the first part of 2013, NCBA will spend a lot of time educating members of Congress on what ADUFA does, why it's needed and the important of getting the bill authorized to keep the nation's livestock healthy. The existing policy wil expire on September 30, 2013.
Antibiotic Use Statistics Prove Misleading
Source: University of Minnesota
via National Hog Farmer - Jan. 8, 2013
The oft-cited statistic that 80% of antibiotics sold in the United States are used in animals is highly misleading, says Richard Raymond, MD, former undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in an excerpt published by the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy, University of Minnesota.
In a recent Food Safety News (FSN) opinion piece, Raymond writes that the 80% statistic is commonly used by those who want to eliminate antibiotic use in animals (because of the risk of promoting resistance to the drugs) and/or reduce the amount of animal products consumed in the United States. Citing information from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report, Raymond says 28% of antibiotics used in animals are ionophores, which have never been approved for use in humans. Because several other antibiotics used in animals also remain unapproved for human use, a total of 45% of antibiotics sold for animal use are not used in human medicine, Raymond writes.
Further, tetracycline is the most commonly used class of antibiotics given to animals, accounting for 42% of sales. In human medicine, tetracycline drugs make up only about 1% by weight of antibiotics sold.
Thus, Raymond argues, 87% of antibiotics used in animals are rarely or never used in humans. He argues against the “radical” step of banning antibiotic use in food animals except to treat actual infections, saying it would markedly drive up the cost of protein. Read the Jan. 7 FSN opinion article...
Antibiotic Use in Animal Feed: A Look at What's Ahead in 2013 and a Recap of 2012
Avinash Kar - NRDC Switchboard (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Posted January 7, 2013
As we enter the New Year, all signs suggest the topic of antibiotic misuse in animal feed is poised to be a leading health issue in 2013. Moving forward, we have a couple of new things to share as well as some upcoming events to note. And we’ll also take this opportunity to look back at an eventful 2012 and its highlights.
First, we have a couple of updates to offer:
Last year was a year of tremendous forward progress on an issue that has languished for too long. Antibiotic misuse on poultry, pigs, and cattle is a leading contributor to the rise of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" which are making antibiotics less effective and putting us all at risk, and action on the issue has been pending for over 35 years at FDA. But finally there is movement on the issue.
The court victories and the media coverage lay a great platform to move the work forward in the upcoming year.
article, plus links, graphics