It’s Been Said: Moms should advocate for the responsible use of antibiotics in farming, but do they have all the facts?
The PEW Charitable Trust is campaigning for tighter restrictions on the use of antibiotics in animals for food production. PEW, along with their “Supermoms”, take Washington D.C. on May 15, to unite parents across America in an effort to speak up against “antibiotic overuse” in farm animals and to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for their children and families.
It’s USFRA’s belief that responsible antibiotic use by farmers and ranchers is important to antibiotic efficacy. USFRA recognizes that parents have a right to be concerned about any effect this may have on their families. USFRA also believes that our farmers and ranchers use antibiotics responsibly and with veterinary oversight to treat sick animals. USFRA feels PEW has good intentions in its efforts; however, USFRA has some concerns regarding the complexity of the topic and the data that may be presented to moms, the FDA and congressional members. In particular, there is a lot of misinformation on the topic.
Consumers have many questions about antibiotic use in farm animals, and USFRA is committed to helping farmers and ranchers answer these questions and foster an open dialogue. USFRA believes that providing a safe, wholesome food supply begins with keeping animals healthy. Responsible antibiotic use is often the best choice to treat sick animals, as well as to prevent animals from getting sick or suffering. We support science-based, peer reviewed programs that are designed and monitored by veterinarians and animal care experts.
Here is some information that may provide more perspective on this topic:
- Overview of antibiotic use in farm animals and surprising facts; this includes information such as the following:
- No Cases of Animal Antibiotic Use Leading to Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs: There has been no proven link to antibiotic treatment failure in humans due to antibiotics use in animals for consumption. (Hurd SH, Doores S, Hayes D, Mathew Am Maurer J, Silley P, Randall SS and Jones RN (2004). Public Health Consequences of Macrolide Use in Food Animals: A Deterministic Risk Assessment. Journal of Food Protection, 67(5): 980–992.)
- Many Antibiotics Sold for Animal Use Are Not Used to Treat Humans: According to FDA statistics, 35 percent of antibiotics sold for animal use are in classes not used in human medicine. And all antibiotics are carefully examined for any human health implications before approved and incorporated into labeling. This means they have no possibility of contributing to antibiotic resistance bacteria in people. (Animal Health Institute. (2012). Antibiotics in Livestock. Frequently Asked Questions
How can you help PEW and the Supermoms tell the whole story about antibiotic use in farm animals? Most important, listen to their concerns and questions and share your stories and USFRA-provided information.
- Log in to their Facebook page and share your stories as livestock producers in the conversation tomorrow. https://www.facebook.com/saveantibioticsforthesick?sk=wall.
- Direct tweet your experiences with using antibiotics on your farm or ranch by using @saveantibiotics and use #supermom.
- Share the link to the antibiotic overview and surprising facts on your social media channels
- Get involved with our upcoming antibiotic web chat on FoodDialogues.com on May 29 from 11 a.m. to noon CT and promote on your social media outlets. Check back on our Facebook page for more information this week. Submit questions for our panelists to discuss.