Still calling itself the largest restaurant seller of responsibly raised meat, Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill insists it has not changed its standards for responsibly raised beef, chicken and pork. The goal is that these products continue to come from animals that are never given antibiotics or added hormones....More
The United States is not the only country wrestling with issues, such as use of both antibiotics in livestock production, and gestation stalls. This week Scott Hurd, DVM, associate professor and director of the Food Risk Modeling and Policy Laboratory at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, makes some valid points about the “rest of the story” after Denmark banned preventive and growth-promoting antibiotics for pigs in 2000. “In over 20 years of food safety research, I have seen quite a few antibiotic-free (ABF) animals, including the famous pigs in Denmark,” he writes in his “Hurd Health” blog. “While working in the processing plant, I could often tell when ABF pigs were coming down the line. The animals from the ABF farms usually appeared somewhat unthrifty. Often there was less uniformity in carcass size and more ‘issues.’”...More
Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Pork Industry Center and Iowa State University Extension & Outreach are teaming up to offer a series of free meetings across the state to address porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, increased monitoring for antibiotic residues and market outlook.
Rodney “Butch” Baker, DVM, interim director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center, will cover PED virus including:...More
The August issue of National Hog Farmer is devoted to the topic of analyzing antibiotic use. As we’ve been putting the finishing touches on our stories this week, the topic of antibiotics in agriculture has been swirling in social media circles once again. Perhaps you have been following the Twitter and Facebook conversations involving a recent Panera Bread advertising campaign professing (via a chicken character shaped like a medication capsule and a graphic depicting a barn made out of pills) that farmers who use antibiotics are lazy. The take-home message is that antibiotic-free chicken is the way to go—along with a false implication that antibiotics are commonly found in meat. In a testament to the importance of agricultural advocacy, Carrie Chestnut Mess, a dairy producer who blogs as Dairy Carrie, created a blog post entitled, “Dear Panera Bread Company.” Minnesota pork industry blogger and agricultural advocate Wanda Patsche followed suit in her own blog. The posts started a social media backlash against the misleading advertising campaign and ultimately, got the attention of Panera management....More
Four senators — three Democrats and a Republican — have introduced legislation that would restrict the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, according to a report from The Hill.
The bill is a companion measure to legislation introduced earlier in the House by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). It would ban farmers from using seven classes of antibiotics critical for human health to treat sick animals....More
Livestock producers today face pressures that are not the normal economic and resource challenges faced by all businesses. Farmers and their veterinarians often wonder: “How did I become the villain when I am just trying to feed people as efficiently as possible?” or “Why is the use of medicine (e.g., antimicrobials) to prevent and relieve animal suffering considered by some to be an antisocial behavior?”...More
Lysozyme is a natural antibiotic that could provide an alternative piglet treatment in diets to improve growth and feed efficiency, according to a report in today’s American Society of Animal Science “Taking Stock” e-newsletter written by Sandra Avant of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service....More
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) today praised Congress for approving legislation to reauthorize animal-drug review laws that will give pork producers access to products that safeguard animal and public health.
Last night, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to reauthorize for five years the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act (AGDUFA). The House took up the measure (S. 622) approved by unanimous consent in the Senate May 8....More
Iowa State University veterinarian Scott Hurd clarifies in the blog below that placing the blame on USDA for antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella is ill-placed and mischaracterizes the problem of antibiotic resistance....More
Proposed legislation by three senators calling for more data on use of antibiotics in food-producing animals will not prove informative, and would actually be a waste of resources, says Iowa State University veterinary blogger Scott Hurd....More
Recently, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) issued a report of its interpretation of the 2011 Retail Meat Annual Report of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). FDA officials said: “While FDA is always concerned when we see antimicrobial resistance, we believe the EWG report oversimplifies the NARMS data and provides misleading conclusions....More
Following a recent release of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report showing that medical doctors annually are prescribing enough antibiotics to give them to 80% of Americans, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) says a group is set to issue its own report, claiming that antibiotics use in food-producing animals is the main cause for people developing antibiotic-resistant diseases....More
This week I have been sicker than a dog with a strep infection and some type of bronchitis-type junk. I’m taking antibiotics. I’m drinking orange juice. Obviously, I’m thankful for the availability of antibiotics, and (in between coughing fits), I’m following the ongoing debate about antibiotic use in livestock production, which is a hot topic in the news yet again....More
Attendees at the recent Office of International Epizootics (OIE) Global Conference on the Responsible and Prudent Use of Antimicrobial Agents for Animals, held in Paris, reached consensus on the need to stimulate cooperation and international solidarity when it comes to the use of antimicrobials....More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a series of five meetings to provide the public with opportunities to discuss and provide critical feedback on the challenges faced by livestock producers and veterinarians as FDA phases in veterinary oversight of the therapeutic use of certain medically important antimicrobials.
FDA is seeking input as it moves forward to further develop and implement its strategy to promote the judicious use in food-producing animals of antibiotics that are important in treating humans....More
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, or PAMTA, yesterday for the fourth time since 2007. The bill would ban non-therapeutic uses of medically important antibiotics in food animal production....More
The use of dried whey and spray-dried plasma has been widely adopted in the swine industry. These products contain immunoglobulins (antibodies) and other physiologically active components.
Eggs, rich in high-quality protein and fat, also contain immunoglobulins and other active components that may be useful in nursery diets....More
Legislation introduced this week by two Democratic members of Congress aims to provide more information on the amount and use of antimicrobial drugs given to food-producing animals.
But the legislation, introduced by Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Louise Slaughter (d-NY), fails to improve the process of judicious use of antibiotics – espoused by both pharmaceutical companies and the veterinary community....More
The risk to humans from multi-drug resistant salmonella is the same as from non-multi resistant strains and has little to do with the use of antimicrobials on the farm, according to Scott Hurd, DVM, from Iowa State University.
Speaking at the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, GA, Hurd also said that the risk of antibiotic resistance being passed down from the farm to humans was negligible and was no reason to stop the use of antimicrobials in the farm....More
Antimicrobial use and resistance and a start toward seeking resolution on these polarizing and often misunderstood issues are topics addressed in a white paper developed by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture....More
If you are in the pork production profession, get ready for restrictions on the way you handle antibiotics, no matter what form they are delivered to your pigs, says James McKean, Iowa State University swine veterinarian and associate director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center....More
When it comes to the use of antibiotics in pork production, some things boil down to simple logic. We all know that appropriate antibiotic use can keep both animals and humans healthy. We also know that only antibiotics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are used to treat hogs, and that veterinarians oversee which antibiotics are used to treat, prevent and control swine diseases. Healthy pigs grow better and eat less feed. And healthy pigs are directly related to a safer food supply. Of course, veterinarians work closely with farmers to make decisions on which pigs may need antibiotics to treat or prevent disease. Remember, those antibiotics do come at a cost, which means pork producers focus on preventing the need and expense of using antibiotics unnecessarily in their herds. In spite of this simple logic, we still have wild statements about the amount and intent of antibiotic use in pork production flying around in the news. Sadly, it’s all in the wording. Recent news stories and statements seem particularly designed to incite fear among consumers....More