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New FDA antibiotic sales data: What’s its relevance to reducing antibiotic resistance?
January 8, 2018

New FDA antibiotic sales data: What’s its relevance to reducing antibiotic resistance?

The Food and Drug Administration releases animal antibiotic sales data annually. The report for 2016 shows decreases in two key categories: sales for livestock and poultry, and medically important antibiotics. Although the latest report shows a reduction, we need to focus on using antibiotics responsibly, which in agriculture means to use less while preserving the ability to responsibly use antibiotics when needed.


Confused by meat labels? Here’s what you need to know
December 18, 2017

Confused by meat labels? Here’s what you need to know

The USDA’s glossary of meat and poultry labeling terms has 20 items from “basted or self-basted” to “young turkey” and includes “natural,” “no hormones” and “organic.” What do they all mean? Here’s some background and perspective on labels in general and one – no antibiotics added – in particular. Other resources are available as well that will help you the next time you’re at the supermarket shopping for meat.


How are antibiotics in agriculture being used in 2017?
November 13, 2017

How are antibiotics in agriculture being used in 2017?

The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is an important factor in providing the safe, affordable food we need and want. At the same time, antibiotic resistance is a complex and serious issue. That’s why farmers, veterinarians and regulators, principally the Food and Drug Administration, collaborated to address antibiotic resistance, changing the way animal agriculture operates today.


Worried about eating meat with antibiotics? Don’t be. Here’s why.
September 18, 2017

Worried about eating meat with antibiotics? Don’t be. Here’s why.

Eating meat that contains antibiotics? Despite the number of questions on this topic asked on Google, it’s not a problem. That’s because safeguards, which start on the farm and extend into the processing plant, are in place to ensure meat doesn’t contain unsafe drug residues, including from antibiotics.


What antibiotics are used for farm animals?
August 14, 2017

What antibiotics are used for farm animals?

Some antibiotics are approved for use in animals, others in people, and still others in both animals and people (also called shared class antibiotics), but the majority of antibiotics used in animals are non-critical to human medicine.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.