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Coalition Voices Opposition to Animal Antibiotic Ban

by 5m Editor
17 August 2009, at 12:02pm

US - A coalition of 20 organisations related to animal agriculture sent a letter to the White House over the current proposal to curb the use of animal antibiotics in farming.

According to the coalition's letter, US farmers and ranchers – and most consumers – are more confident knowing animal health care, assistance and advice are provided by veterinarians and animal scientists, not by PhD issue advocates or animal rights activists.

"FDA has always been an agency which makes regulatory decisions based on science and over time has done an exemplary job of standing apart from political battles," says the letter. "Since his inauguration, President Obama’s repeated pledge to base his Administration’s regulatory decisions on “the best available science” and “the rule of law” gives us confidence the Administration will not embrace an ill-advised, politically motivated call to curb on-farm uses of antibiotics.

"As American food producers, we are hopeful we will be permitted to continue our discussions on this complex issue with the leadership of FDA. Contrary to our critics’ characterization of our position on this issue, we have not “dug in.”

"Rather, we welcome honest discussion of science-based, pragmatic options allowing producers to farm in the best interests of their animals and customers while providing consumers assurance our use of these vital, safe and effective production tools is professional, judicious and does not jeopardize these products’ effectiveness in human medicine."

Earlier this year, in a written testimony, Joshua Sharfstein, Deputy Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said antibiotics should only be used in farm animals that are sick, and only under the supervision of a veterinarian.

"Purposes other than for the advancement of animal or human health should not be considered judicious use,” said Sharfstein. "Eliminating these uses will not compromise the safety of food.”

Further Reading

- You can view the coalition's full letter by clicking here.