The chief veterinarian at the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has downplayed the value of a new “technical review” published on a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Web site entitled, “A Focus on Antimicrobial Resistance.”

“We find it very disappointing that a research assistant at a university, who is not an Agricultural Research Service scientist can develop and post such a review without it going through an agency or peer review process,” states Liz Wagstrom, DVM.

The report calls the issue of antibiotic resistance a growing public health concern worldwide, and the misuse of antimicrobial drugs in food animal production and human medicine a leading cause of accelerated antimicrobial resistance.

The USDA report, in the National Agriculture Library, combines research from 63 journals.

Wagstrom points out that the concerns raised about global food safety and drug resistance cited in the article are not largely the result of antibiotics used in animal agriculture, or are used as individual animal injections available only with veterinary prescription.

“Additionally, a majority of the resistance concerns are in non-foodborne pathogens that are not related to animal use of antibiotics,” she says.

Wagstrom says USDA data also shows a level to downward trend in antibiotic resistance found in bacteria from pork.