Pork producers committed to addressing resistance
By: National Pork Producers Council March 30, 2015
Responding to Friday’s release of the White House “National Action Plan For Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria,” the National Pork Producers Council said the U.S. pork industry is committed to continuing its efforts to use antibiotics responsibly, to support research on antibiotic resistance and to comply with recent directives related to antibiotic use from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The $1.2 billion plan’s primary purpose is to direct activities by the federal government to address antibiotic resistance, but it also is designed to guide action by public health and healthcare professionals and veterinarians “in a common effort to address urgent and serious drug-resistant threats that affect people in the U.S. and around the world.”
The pork industry supports studies and research on the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance, as well as research on identifying alternative products or practices that will help minimize the need to use antibiotics. The industry’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program includes principles that provide guidance on responsible antibiotic use and has on-farm assessments to measure points on veterinary oversight and FDA requirements for medical records. It also is reaching out to pork producers to build awareness of and provide information on the changes that result from FDA Guidance 213, which is eliminating for growth promotion uses of antibiotics that are important in human medicine. Additionally the FDA guidance requires veterinary oversight (VFD) of all therapeutic uses of those same antibiotics.
“Pork producers have been at the forefront of developing programs that ensure that antibiotics are being used responsibly,” said NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage, a pork producer from Camden, S.C. “And the U.S. pork industry is committed to doing its part to help address the issue of antibiotic resistance.
“That said, antibiotics are an important tool we use to keep our animals healthy and to produce safe food, and we will continue to employ them for those purposes.”
NPPC noted that the White House plan backs the successful implementation of Guidance 213 and the VFD, the development of metrics to gauge the success of antibiotics stewardship efforts and research on alternative products and strategies to reduce the need for antibiotics. The plan also calls for the collection of more data on antibiotic use.
NPPC is committed to working with FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop appropriate metrics for measuring the success of the industry’s stewardship program. Data collection should focus on increasing the epidemiological knowledge of antibiotic resistance, be practical and representative and not be cost prohibitive, said the organization.