What is the PCAST Report and how does it relate to antibiotic use on the farm?

Published in September 2014, President Obama’s Council on Science and Technology (PCAST) report details information about the current state of antibiotic use in America in both human and veterinary medicine. This report is further guiding farmers’ and ranchers’ approaches to mitigating antibiotic resistance. Specifically, the PCAST report outlined the following recommendations:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should proceed vigorously with the implementation of Guidance's 209 and 213, including completing its rulemaking to update the language of the Veterinary Feed Directive.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through its Cooperative Extension Service, should establish and lead a national education and stewardship program to assist farmers, ranchers, and animal agriculture producers across the United States in complying with these FDA Guidances. USDA should also work to ensure that information is distributed in an effective and timely manner to licensed veterinarians, clarifying veterinarians’ new roles in overseeing the use of antibiotics.
  • The FDA should assess progress by monitoring changes in total sales of antibiotics in animal agriculture and, where possible, in usage of such antibiotics; and by developing and undertaking studies to assess whether decreases are observed in antibiotic resistance among farm animals. 

USFRA Point of View

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is committed to answering questions about how food is grown and raised. This includes addressing questions about antibiotic use on farms and ranches and concerns about antibiotic resistance in humans. We, too, are concerned about if or how the use of... Read more