159175 Policies to reduce the human health impacts of animal agriculture

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 9:10 AM

Margaret Mellon, PhD , Director, Food & Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington, DC
Today's industrialized animal agriculture confines vast numbers of animals in unsanitary conditions, relying on regular administration of antimicrobial drugs to promote growth, and to compensate for the risks of infectious disease in these stressed animals. An estimated 70 percent of all antibiotics and related drugs produced in the United States are used for such “non-therapeutic” purposes in animal agriculture. This presentation will review recent actions by government agencies and the private sector to reduce antibiotic use in food animal production. It will also discuss the merits of proposed federal antibiotics legislation and additional steps that can be taken to minimize the impact of meat production on human, animal, and environmental health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the practice of non-therapeutic antibiotic administration in animal agriculture. 2. Articulate its contribution to the growing problem of multi-drug resistant pathogens. 3. Identify recent steps taken by governments and the private sector to reduce routine antibiotic use in the production of livestock and poultry. 4. Evaluate the usefulness of various additional proposals to reduce antibiotic use and mitigate other public health impacts of animal agriculture.

Keywords: Antibiotic Resistance, Food Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.