Groups Issue Framework for Antibiotic Stewardship in Food Animal Production

A group of major food companies, retailers, livestock producers, and trade and professional associations just announced a comprehensive framework to strengthen stewardship of antibiotic use in food animals.

The framework is the product of a two-year dialogue among stakeholders, moderated by the Farm Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to ensure that antibiotics are used judiciously throughout production to protect animal and public health. The stakeholders agreed that the use of medically important antibiotics in all settings, from human health care to livestock production, must be carefully managed to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria.

The framework defines effective stewardship, lays out its core components, and describes essential characteristics of effective stewardship programs, including key performance measures.

Joe Swedberg, chairman of the board of Farm Foundation, says the framework “provides the basis for a robust and science-based system, one that consumers can understand and trust.”