Antibiotics in Food Animals-Update


The Pew Commission, FDA, CDC, the AMA, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Concerned Scientists and more than 300 other organizations consider this ban as extremely important to National Health. The Delmarva Poultry Association, The American Farm Bureau, pharmaceutical companies, and the rest of the powerful Agribusiness Lobby do not. The first skirmish, not even reaching battle status, was at a hearing of the House Appropriations Agricultural  Subcommittee meeting on March 10. with FDA Secretary Hamburgs testimony.

Rep. Tom Latham (R, IA) pressed Hamburg about the FDA’s position on use of antibiotics in animals.  Hogs outnumber humans six to one in Latham’s district, which is also home to one of the nation’s largest animal antibiotic manufacturers, Fort Dodge Laboratories.  Latham referred to a July 24, 2009 New York Times editorial and asked:

“Is it the FDA’s intention to entirely ban antibiotics in livestock?”

Hamburg responded that the FDA had no intention of an outright ban on antibiotic use for treatment or prevention of disease in animals, but she questioned the use of antibiotics as a growth promoter in animal feed.  Hamburg noted that antibiotic resistance was a “one of the foremost health concerns in the nation,” and that action was needed to preserve the effectiveness of major antibiotics for humans and animals. Although antibiotics have been shown to enhance growth the primary reason for their usage is to keep the animals alive in the perfect pathogen atmosphere described  by  Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. These facilities are also polluting the atmosphere, contaminating aquifers with nitrate and creating phosphorous runoff see our reference # 44. The Industry should focus its time redesigning these facilities to produce clean food. We the public should stop eating this food until they do.

Thanks to The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for this update.


3 Responses to “Antibiotics in Food Animals-Update”

  1. Wells Hively Says:

    Don, this is very helpful, what you are doing to keep us up to date. Who, if anyone, is organizing to fight the antibiotics?

    • kerstis Says:

      There were 300 organizations including the AMA who supported this legislation. Many monitor and report publically. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition which is or will be listed as a related site sends me weekly updates which I will pass on. They represent about 300 organizations and they will be testifying before committees. You can join NSAC or check in with

  2. Wells Hively Says:

    I joined. So far the best groups I’ve found are NSAC and Food Democracy Now.

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