Animal Antibiotic Use Again Looked at By Congress


Last month the Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidance to those in agriculture involving the use of antibiotics.  While being suggested guidelines and not regulation, the FDA stated that using antibiotics for food production purposes threatens the protection and promotion of the public health.  Even with a lot on their plates this year, this is an issue that Congress is taking note of as they held another hearing on this very topic this week. 

Northern Ag Network sat in on that hearing, via the wonders of technology and streaming video, as more than one Subcommittee member questioned if this discussion was a good use of their time and taxpayer dollars.  Still, several others called this a public health issue of significant importance.

Iowa’s Bruce L. Braley in his open statement hit on the reality that many in D.C. and many in top spots at federal agencies are out of touch with agriculture.

Braley, along with a number of others in the hearing, contended that this is an issue that demands careful, thoughtful consideration of all points of view.

The points of view on Wednesday came from a panel of “experts” including Dr. Sharfstein with the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. John Clifford is the Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Admiral Khan is with the Centers for Disease Control.

While there are currently only guidelines from the FDA regarding the judicious use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, the fact that those have been established gives some direction as to what the future of this debate could be.


© Northern Ag Network 2010

Haylie Shipp



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