The World Health Organization (WHO) is now recommending against the routine use of antibiotics in food animals, according to new guidelines released by the international public health agency.
ARAC in the News
WHO has launched new guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals, recommending that farmers and the food industry stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals. These guidelines aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their use in animals.
USDA and FDA have a duty to make sure that livestock producers aren't causing antibiotic resistance, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told researchers, scientists and government employees today.
The agencies have a "huge responsibility" to "convince and educate our producers" on using antibiotics judiciously, he said during a meeting of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, or NARMS.
The 2015 NARMS Integrated Report is an annual report that highlights antimicrobial resistance patterns in bacteria isolated from humans (by CDC), raw retail meats (by FDA), and animals at slaughter (by USDA).
But the antibiotic’s [colistin] widespread use as a growth promoter for poultry and pigs in Asia had – by this time – encouraged the evolution of resistant strains and these have now spread to humans....The position is summed up by Lance Price, an antibiotic researcher at George Washington University in Washington DC. “Superbugs are gaining strength because we continue to squander these precious medicines through overuse in human medicine and as cheap production tools in animal agriculture.”