Website informs meat producers about new FDA antibiotics rules
- A new informational website, http://www.togetherabx.com/, aims to provide details and strategies for how the FDA's new antibiotics regulations will impact the domestic food supply, according to a news release.
- These regulations will prevent meat producers from using antibiotics similar to those used to treat humans purely for animal growth purposes. These types of antibiotics can be used to treat sick animals, but only under supervision of a veterinary doctor.
- FDA will begin enforcing the new policy Jan. 1, 2017.
FDA meant for the regulations to strike a balance in the ongoing debate about antibiotics in the U.S. food supply. Antibiotics supporters argue they help prevent the spread of illness, which could otherwise significantly reduce yield and make the meat supply less safe for consumption. Antibiotics could also increase the yield per animal, which makes meat production more profitable.
But that latter argument is of greatest concern to opponents because humans could be unnecessarily consuming antibiotics in their meat. Even small traces of antibiotics can cause humans to build up a tolerance over time, and the recent reporting of "super" drug-resistant salmonella is one result.
Agriculture groups including the Animal Health Institute, National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Animal Agriculture Alliance sponsored this website, which offers greater transparency to the meat industry. The meat industry in particular has struggled against consumers' demands for more transparency recently. That was likely part of the motivation for Sanderson Farms to have chosen to defend its use of antibiotics and dispel myths surrounding them rather than reducing or eliminating usage, as other competitors are doing.
- PR Newswire via Animal Health Institute New Website Highlights the Steps the Agriculture Community is taking to Prepare for 2017 Changes in the use of Antibiotics