USDA Acknowledges Link Between Antibiotic Use by Big Ag and Human Health
Studies show that antibiotic resistance in humans linked to antibiotic use on farm animals.
On July 14, 2010 during a hearing of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, a representative of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledged that the use of antibiotics in farm animal feed is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in America.
Dr. John Clifford, Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services for the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) stated that the USDA believes that the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture likely leads to some cases of resistance in humans and animals.
The Principle Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, testified that the overal weight of evidence supports the conclusion that using antibiotics for production purposes in livestock farming is not in the interest of protecting and promoting public health.
Dr. Ali Khan, Assistant Surgeon General and the Deputy Director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Center for Disease Control and Prevention, agreed stating that there is unequivocal and compelling evidence that the use of antibiotics in farm animals leads to drug resistance that has an adverse impact on public health.
The FDA is calling for changes in how antibiotics are used in farm animal production.
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