Online Program

Combating resistance: Protect workers while preserving antibiotics through upstream changes in FDA policy

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

David Wallinga, MD, MPA, Healthy Food Action, St. Paul, MN
Post WWII, meat producers, pharmaceutical companies and medical researchers were complicit in finding new antibiotics to add to animal feed to help poultry and pigs grow faster. As researched by Ted Genoways in his 2014 book The Chain, the Hormel Institute, a partnership of the corporate parent of SPAM, has been in partnership with both the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota from the Institute’s founding in 1942 until today. Institute researchers, however, published more than a half century ago that antibiotic feed additives changed the gut flora of the animals receiving them, and at least one medical study linked the use of aureomycin in pig feed to the appearance of drug resistant staphylococci in hospitalized patients. Upon reviewing this history, this presentation discusses recent science further linking the downstream colonization of workers in industrial meat factories and slaughterhouses with resistant bacteria, and explores the implied risks to worker health and to the health of the general public.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of the Mayo Clinic in promoting routine antibiotic use in livestock production; Explain how antibiotic use in livestock feed can impact on the safety of workers on livestock farms and in slaughterhouses.

Keyword(s): Food Security, Labor

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: I am an invited panel member

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of Healthy Food Action, which informs and motivates health professionals around policy impacts on the food system, including policy affecting food safety and worker safety, as well as the routine use of antibiotics 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.