213077 Breaking the stalemate: Non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in agriculture

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Robert J. Borotkanics , Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, US Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD
The continued effectiveness of antibiotics is critical to a nation's health. Each year, antibiotics are used to treat a host of diseases across the population; 304 per 1,000 adults a year receive antibiotics via outpatient settings. Over 18 million emergency department receive antibiotics. Antibiotics are also used in agriculture to clinically treat animals. Farmers also use antibiotics non-therapeutically to promote animal growth and also as a prophylactic. Evidence shows that non-therapeutic use substantially outpaces the volumes of antibiotics used to treat disease. As a result, a multitude of multi-drug resistant organisms has emerged, for which agricultural workers are showing increasing rates of colonization, and so, the policy of banning the non-therapeutic, agricultural use of antibiotics has emerged as a key policy objective, via attempts to change public law. This policy approach continues to be pushed and also continues to fail. Why? The lack of progress has largely to do with the potential economic winners and losers of such a policy implementation. This presentation summarizes the potential economic winners and losers and also shows how existing policy discussions, while of good intent, could actually hurting progress of such a policy implementation.

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe present policy approaches to ensuring appropriate use of antibiotic use in agriculture and their accompanying success rate. 2. To Explain the health impacts on agricultural health workers.

Keywords: Antibiotic Resistance, Agricultural Work Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I Conduct research and oversee a portfolio of research at the US DHHS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.