237941 Non-therapeutic antibiotic use in animal agriculture: The intersection of politics, public health and microbiology

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:15 AM

Gail Hansen, DVM, MPH , Human Health and Industrial Farming, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC
All uses of antibiotics contribute to drug resistance, and research clearly shows that resistant bacteria from food animals contribute to the problem. Antibiotics are available over the counter and are routinely and deliberately given at subtherapeutic levels to many healthy food animals in the U.S. to increase production, decrease the time from birth to slaughter, and to mask poor management practices. Non-therapeutic use of these drugs in food animals creates a large reservoir for the emergence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The World Health Organization recommends veterinary oversight of antibiotics in food animals and a national surveillance system to monitor antibiotic use and resistance, but that has not been instituted in the U.S. despite several proposed legislative and regulatory solutions. This roundtable will discuss the history and results of U.S. inaction, voluntary efforts by the private sector, recent attempts to monitor and mitigate through laws and policies, and the beneficial impact that passage of laws on the restricted use of antibiotics in food animal production on public health.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Highlight the history of over the counter and prescription use of antibiotics in modern agriculture. 2. Describe the basic mechanisms of antibiotic resistance spread 3. List four approved purposes for which antibiotics are given to food animals in the U.S. 4. Compare regulatory, legislative and voluntary actions to address antibiotic resistance

Keywords: Antibiotic Resistance, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the senior officer for the project that is working to minimize antibiotic resistance by phasing out the nontherapeutic use of the drugs in food animal production.
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.