White House Must Discourage Antibiotic Use on Farms

Statement of CSPI Food Safety Director Caroline Smith DeWaal

September 18, 2014

I am glad to see that the Obama Administration has recognized the urgency of the public health threat posed by antimicrobial resistance, but disappointed that the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s committee didn’t urge more effective action to limit antibiotic use in animal production. The Administration can’t tackle antimicrobial resistance without tackling unnecessary uses of medically important antibiotics on the farm. Today cattle, pigs, and poultry are given three times as much antibiotics by volume than are used to treat humans. While that might keep animals from getting sick in crowded conditions, it also increases the risk that consumers will have more severe infections from common foodborne bacteria, like Salmonella, which have evolved into antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.”


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