Your Questions Answered

Clearing the confusion on ‘factory farms’
May 31, 2017

Clearing the confusion on ‘factory farms’

The term “factory farm” (I call it the “double F bomb”) has become a catch-all for everything that some people perceive as being wrong with modern agriculture. A recent New York Times op-ed contains much misinformation about today’s farming technology, the healthfulness of meat, and the environmental impact of producing food from animals.

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When science and some consumers are on opposite sides of an issue
May 9, 2017

When science and some consumers are on opposite sides of an issue

There’s strong evidence antibiotics used in livestock and poultry are not driving antibiotic resistance in humans, that responsible use of antibiotics minimizes agriculture’s environmental impact, and unsafe antibiotic residue in food from animals is uncommon. While science is the foundation of those findings, and decision-making processes people use to form opinions are complex, it can be discouraging when groups or individuals choose to support science only when it agrees with issues upon which they’ve made up their minds.

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FDA approves animal drugs, too; rigorous process followed
April 21, 2017

FDA approves animal drugs, too; rigorous process followed

The Food and Drug Administration not only has an intensive approval process for drugs for animals that’s similar to the approval human drugs undergo, but the FDA performs additional studies on drugs for food-producing animals not required for human drugs to be sure meat, milk and eggs are safe for us to consume, and that the drugs are safe for the environment. This process is intended to ensure public health.

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Animal antibiotics conversation requires context
March 27, 2017

Animal antibiotics conversation requires context

Comparing animal and human antibiotic use is complicated. That’s why the proper context is so important.

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New online resource does good job explaining the complex subject of antibiotic resistance
February 9, 2017

New online resource does good job explaining the complex subject of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance, bacteria that evolve to the point they are not easily killed by antibiotics, is a scientifically complex subject and a concern for human and animal health. A new online resource does an excellent job explaining antibiotic resistance.

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Preventing disease is a big part of a veterinarian’s ethical obligation
January 20, 2017

Preventing disease is a big part of a veterinarian’s ethical obligation

Animals raised for food live in herds or flocks, share water and feed troughs, and seek close contact with one another by licking, laying on each other and even rubbing snouts and noses. This can spread illnesses rapidly. Waiting for animals to show symptoms of an illness before beginning treatment is often too late. Swift action can prevent the spread of disease and result in animals receiving fewer antibiotics than they would have had they not received preventive medication.

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New year brings changes: Farmers and veterinarians must work even closer together to use antibiotics responsibly
December 22, 2016

New year brings changes: Farmers and veterinarians must work even closer together to use antibiotics responsibly

New Food and Drug Administration guidance that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017, will end the use of antibiotics important to human medicine to promote growth in animals or to improve feed efficiency, and require veterinary oversight for the use of medically important antibiotics in animal agriculture.

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Antibiotics are important to food safety, affordability
December 5, 2016

Antibiotics are important to food safety, affordability

As a veterinarian, I need to be able to answer questions about antibiotic use in farm animals in an informed and evidence-based way. Based on scientific research and practical experience, I’m completely comfortable telling people that using antibiotics responsibly makes meat, milk and eggs safer with the added benefit of lower food costs.

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Food safety for the holidays: Proper cooking is a must
November 17, 2016

Food safety for the holidays: Proper cooking is a must

An important food safety step is making sure meat is handled properly and cooked to the right temperature. And that responsibility lies with the people preparing the food for the millions of holiday gatherings that take place in homes across the country, including mine.

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What do antibiotics have to do with sustainability?
October 29, 2016

What do antibiotics have to do with sustainability?

Animal antibiotics have been used by farmers for decades to make food safer and prevent animal suffering. Using them responsibly also lessens the burden on our planet.

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Antibiotics webinar looks at human and agricultural antibiotic use
October 21, 2016

Antibiotics webinar looks at human and agricultural antibiotic use

As revealed in the webinar, Dr. Steve Solomon and I share some of the same concerns and priorities, including most importantly that antibiotics must be used responsibly in both human and animal medicine. We covered the changes underway in how antibiotics are being used on farms, the risks, as well as “superbug” concerns and the broader global picture with regard to antibiotic resistance.

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Balancing Concerns
October 7, 2016

Balancing Concerns

As a veterinarian, it is my duty to weigh the decision on whether to use antibiotics on the farm in order to balance both public health and animal needs. I took an oath to prevent and treat animal suffering as well as promote public health and protect animal health. It’s a real balancing act some days, but when an animal is sick with a bacterial infection, treating it with antibiotics is the right thing to do.

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Can UN action on antibiotics create a more productive public dialogue?
September 26, 2016

Can UN action on antibiotics create a more productive public dialogue?

The U.N. General Assembly passed a declaration aiming to slow down the spread of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. The U.S. is well underway in following the U.N.’s directive. Animal health companies are eliminating the use of antibiotics important to human medicine for the purpose of promoting growth in animals. In many cases, these antibiotics will only be available under a Veterinary Feed Directive starting the first of the year.

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Many Steps Taken to Keep Animals Healthy, Food Safe
September 12, 2016

Many Steps Taken to Keep Animals Healthy, Food Safe

The responsible use of antibiotics is just one tool used on farms to keep animals healthy. Good stewardship also involves proper nutrition, good ventilation, biosecurity, appropriate housing and other measures designed to protect animal health and ensure food produced from animals is safe. Although vaccines are not available for every disease, when they are, they help protect an animal’s health, too.

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Clearing the Confusion
September 8, 2016

Clearing the Confusion

While some labels proclaim chicken as “Antibiotic Free” and “No Antibiotics Ever,” strict regulations are in place to ensure all products in your grocery store meat case contain no unsafe antibiotic residues.

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‘Superbug’ Discovery is Cause for Concern – Not Panic
July 18, 2016

‘Superbug’ Discovery is Cause for Concern – Not Panic

The revelation that a bacteria resistant to an antibiotic of last resort has been found in the United States is a big deal and something public health officials are taking very seriously, as they should. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in late May that E. coli bacteria carrying what’s known asRead More  

Dr. Dorman Discusses Food Issues on Farm & Country Radio
June 24, 2016

Dr. Dorman Discusses Food Issues on Farm & Country Radio

Dr. Leah Dorman visited with Ty Higgins of Farm & Country Radio about what drove her to become a veterinarian, as well as issues within the food system. Dr. Dorman says consumers are more interested in how their food is produced than in the past, and as a mother, she understands concern about antibiotic resistance andRead More  

Cow Comfort is Top of Mind for Dairy Farmers
June 20, 2016

Cow Comfort is Top of Mind for Dairy Farmers

I’ll bet you didn’t know that cows have super-powers. They certainly don’t look like a super hero – they don’t wear a cape (they’d eat it or their herdmates would) and it’s impossible to find a unitard to fit a four legged creature that weighs 1500 lbs.    They don’t have X-ray vision and they can’tRead More  

Calculating Risk
June 6, 2016

Calculating Risk

There are growing concerns that on-farm antibiotic use is harming public health by contributing to antibiotic resistance in people. But, what is the connection between antibiotics used in food animals and the risk of human antibiotic treatment failure? It’s a tough question and a scientifically-verified answer is not readily available.   It’s a serious issueRead More  

Antibiotic Stewardship Explained
May 9, 2016

Antibiotic Stewardship Explained

Antibiotic stewardship and responsible use of antibiotics are terms that are used quite often these days. But, what do they mean? On the animal side, it means utilizing vaccines, proper nutrition, good ventilation, biosecurity, appropriate housing and other tools to reduce the need for antibiotics. This includes limiting use of antibiotics only for the treatment,Read More  

Animal Health Community Embraces Changes to Ensure Responsible Use of Antibiotics
March 14, 2016

Animal Health Community Embraces Changes to Ensure Responsible Use of Antibiotics

New rules and guidelines are coming into effect to govern the use of antibiotics for animal agriculture, supported by farmers, veterinarians and the animal health community, as we do our part to ensure responsible use of antibiotics. Bottom line: making these changes is the right thing to do.   For example, the animal health communityRead More  

Video Series Explains Responsible Antibiotic Use to Consumers
February 12, 2016

Video Series Explains Responsible Antibiotic Use to Consumers

As a veterinarian, I am often asked questions about the use of antibiotics on farms. I welcome such questions and the opportunity to engage in an open, honest dialogue. I certainly share the concern about antibiotic resistance and think it’s important for the public to have answers to their questions. That’s why I am soRead More  

Antibiotic Resistance: An Ancient Challenge
January 25, 2016

Antibiotic Resistance: An Ancient Challenge

Antibiotic resistance represents a serious challenge, but that doesn’t mean it represents a new challenge. From my 20 years as a veterinarian, I share the concern about antibiotic resistance and know that the animal health community does too. The animal health community will continue to work with all interested parties to find solutions to an issue much older than we are.

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My Path to Becoming a Veterinarian: Relieving Human and Animal Suffering

My Path to Becoming a Veterinarian: Relieving Human and Animal Suffering

As a veterinarian, I took an oath to protect animal health, prevent animal suffering and to promote human health. Remaining true to these values to relieve the suffering of both humans and animals has been a driving force in my life, and this commitment led me to become a veterinarian.

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Doing Our Part to Minimize Antibiotic Resistance

Doing Our Part to Minimize Antibiotic Resistance

As a mother of three children, it is vitally important to me to ensure that antibiotics are effective when one of my kids is sick. As a veterinarian, I also took an oath to protect animal health, prevent animal suffering and to promote human health. From this vantage point, I see all sides of

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