A coalition of agricultural organizations has sent a letter to New York Representative Louise Slaughter. Slaughter is the primary author of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act – which would restrict antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production by banning the use of several classes of antibiotics used to prevent and control diseases – as well as promoting nutritional efficiency. Not only does the coalition point out the stringent federal approval process and regulation of antibiotics – but also the lack of human health risks associated with their judicious use in livestock production and the benefits they offer in food animal production.
The letter states that the safety assessment for animal antibiotics is more stringent than that for human antibiotics in that FDA will not approve an antibiotic for animals if there are risks to human, a food safety assessment is required to ensure meat is safe and the pharmaceutical is thoroughly studied to guarantee it doesn’t increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food. The letter goes on to explain how FDA has issued new regulations that effectively prohibit the use of medically important antibiotics in food animals for improving nutritional efficiency. The coalition also cites several assessments that show the threat to human health from antibiotic use in livestock is negligible.
The coalition is made up of the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Meat Institute, American Veterinary Medical Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council and others.