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Coalition Formed to Oppose Antibiotics Ban

by 5m Editor
20 July 2009, at 10:40am

US - American Meat Institute (AMI) has joined a coalition in voicing opposition to animal antibiotics ban.

AMI, as a member of the Coalition for Animal Health, is voicing its opposition to H.R. 1549, Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009, which was the subject of a hearing in the Rules Committee last week. The bill seeks to amend and redefine 'Critical Antimicrobial Animal Drugs' and 'Nontherapeutic Use' as they pertain to animal health. This bill also rescinds the approval of a list of seven 'critical antimicrobial animal drugs' unless the sponsor demonstrates there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to human health from the development of antimicrobial resistance from 'non-therapeutic' use of the drug.

The coalition is urging Congress to reject this bill that will jeopardize the industry's ability to protect animal health, animal welfare and the food supply because there is little scientific basis for its rationale.

"We oppose the bill because we are opposed to legislative bans of important animal health medicines that have been approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration," the coalition stated in a letter to House Committee on Rules chairwoman, Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Ranking Member, David Dreier (R-CA).

"One of our central goals is to contribute to public health by providing safe and healthful meat products. We need healthy animals, and the tools to keep animals healthy, to meet that goal."

The coalition notes that several public and private programmes have been adopted and together they form layers of protection to ensure we can use antibiotics to keep animals healthy without harming public health, the letter states. These protective measures include:

  • a stringent approval process
  • post-approval risk assessments
  • food safety monitoring and surveillance
  • responsible use programmes, and
  • pathogen reduction programmes.

Further Reading

- You can view the letter in its entirety by clicking here.