Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features New Technology Production
Letter to White House on Antibiotic Use in Livestock


August 20, 2009
By Georgia Farm Bureau

Topics

August 20, 2009- A coalition of 20 organizations related to animal agriculture, including
the American Farm Bureau and the American Veterinary Medical
Association, sent a letter today to Melody Barnes, assistant to
President Barack Obama for domestic policy, regarding the on-farm use
of low-level antibiotics in livestock and poultry.

August 20, 2009- A coalition of 20 organizations related to animal agriculture, including
the American Farm Bureau and the American Veterinary Medical
Association, sent a letter today to Melody Barnes, assistant to
President Barack Obama for domestic policy, regarding the on-farm use
of low-level antibiotics in livestock and poultry.

The letter outlined the actions taken by our groups, both
individually and collectively, to ensure these important, safe,
effective Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved products are
used judiciously, minimizing risk to human health.

Advertisement


The
letter said, "The bottom line for on-farm antibiotic use is this:
 Farmers and ranchers strive daily to provide best possible management
of their animals through superior genetics, nutrition, veterinary care,
housing and handling. Optimal animal health and welfare leads to
production of safe, affordable and abundant food, critical to U.S. food
security. Maintaining the health of U.S. herds and flocks requires
farmers and ranchers to have all approved safe and effective
technologies, including animal health products, available to us."


The letter went on to say that despite the allegations surrounding
these uses, "no conclusive scientific studies have been offered
demonstrating the use of antibiotics on farms contributes significantly
to an increase in human resistance. In fact, a growing body of evidence
shows just the opposite, namely the responsible, professional use of
these products reduces pathogens in and on foods, enhancing animal
welfare while not contributing to resistance."


The letter was addressed to Barnes, but it also was transmitted to the
offices of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Health
and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Senate Agriculture Committee
Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.),
House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Ranking
Member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg and
FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein.

A copy of the letter can be downloaded by clicking here.