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.


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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.


Looking forward


First, we have a couple of updates to offer:


  1. Timeline:  We have a new timeline that illustrates the 35-year saga of stalled progress on this issue. We thought it might be useful to lay out the long history of FDA’s failure to address antibiotic use in animal feed, an important factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" which threaten the effectiveness of vital medicines (antibiotics); the timeline also illustrates the progress that has been made in Europe in the same time...   
  2. Positions of Leading Medical and Scientific Authorities on Use of Antibiotics in Animal Feed:  There is a remarkable level of agreement in the medical and scientific community that we need to stop the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock to protect human health, and this was another thing we found ourselves pointing out a lot last year. We have now collected quotations from many of these organizations in one place. See here. It makes for sobering reading.Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for saving-antibiotics-quotes-thumb.jpg
  3. The Latest on the Lawsuit: The written briefing (arguments) in the appeal of our district court wins is complete. Oral argument is scheduled for February 8. We look forward to a decision from the Court of Appeals. A win would be another great step forward on a long-neglected threat to our health and the health of our children.


Looking Back


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.


  1. Lawsuit Victories: We had a couple of tremendous successes last year in our lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration to compel action by the agency.  A federal court directed FDA to stop the use of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed unless drug manufacturers can prove in a hearing that such use is safe for human health. The court also directed FDA to examine the science and evaluate the safety of other medically important antibiotics. Read all about it here. FDA’s response has been to propose “voluntary” non-binding recommendations that industry can choose to ignore. Unfortunately, FDA has also appealed the decisions, and we are currently litigating the appeal. But we remain convinced that we have the better of the argument.
  2. Media Coverage: The year also saw great attention being brought to bear on the issue, thanks in part to our lawsuit. Editorials across the country urged greater action to stop the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in livestock production.


The court victories and the media coverage lay a great platform to move the work forward in the upcoming year.


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