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Antibiotics

FACT SHEET

Antibiotic Resistance

  • The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production defines non-therapeutic as “any use of antimicrobials in food animals in the absence of clinical disease or known (documented) disease exposure; i.e. any use of the drug as a food or water additive for growth.”
  • The FDA recommends, “limiting medically important antimicrobial drugs to uses in food-producing animals that are considered necessary for assuring animal health; and limiting such drugs to uses in food-producing animals that include veterinary oversight or consultation.”
  • Demark banned the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in livestock in 2003. This ban is similar to the guidelines the FDA is proposing.
  • The ban in Denmark of antibiotics used for growth promotion resulted in increased intestinal disease in animals and increased therapeutic use of antibiotics.
  • Since the Denmark ban, resistant rates in human Salmonella cases have increased. Denmark has seen a largest increase in human MRSA cases since it banned antibiotic growth promotion in animal agriculture.
  • A new study by a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) economist estimates the total economic impact of food borne illness across the nation to be a combined $152 billion annually.
  • Cost to US medical care sector of treatment for patients with infections caused by resistant organisms estimated to be $4-7 billion per year according to the American Society for Microbiology Report of the ASM task force on antibiotic resistance.

For information on other subjects on the agriculture industry please visit the Fact Sheets page, or visit the Home page to view my opinions.

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