Antibiotic Use in Meat Production: Risks vs. Benefits

(Webinar length: 1 hr 8m)

Overview:

Many people are convinced that raising food animals without antibiotics is better. However, there are three critical factors that must be considered before making this determination.

  1. All published risk assessments on the public health risk of resistance have shown a negligible risk
  2. Animals like children get sick with infectious disease which can only be cured by antibiotics. Failure to treat or prevent those infections will lead to unnecessary death and suffering of the animals
  3. New studies are showing that animals which have some residual effects of these illnesses are more likely to be contaminated with  important food borne pathogens when harvested. This contamination can increase the number of humans with foodborne illness.

This presentation will discuss recent research which quantifies the correlation between certain measures of animal health and public health risk from foodborne pathogens. The relationship between one particular animal health intervention, antibiotics, will be emphasized. The policy implications of these findings have not been fully considered, yet this information needs to be entered into the public policy debate.

Areas covered in the webinar:

  • The reported risk of antibiotic resistance risk to humans
  • FDA actions to respond to the animal use resistance concerns
  • The role of antibiotics in meat production
  • The relationship between animal health and public health
  • Future research needs

Who will benefit from this webinar:

  • Those who are concerned about on farm use of antibiotics
  • Packers, meat producers and processors
  • Animal health care providers
  • Veterinarians
  • Meat inspection and quality assurance personnel
  • Public health advocates

Presenter - Dr. H. Scott Hurd

Scott Hurd is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Education in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa. He served as Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA, in 2008. In this position he directed all federal meat and poultry inspection. He is on the Committee on Agricultural and Food Microbiology of the American Society of Microbiology’s Public Health and Scientific Affairs Board and holds indefinite assignments with the AVMA’s Council on Biological and Therapeutic Agents and the Animal Health Institute’s Scientific Advisory Council on Healthy Animals Safe Food. Hurd’s areas of expertise include risk assessment, food animal Salmonella control, bovine spongiform encephalopathyantibiotic resistance, and epidemiology. He received his B.S. in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia; his D.V.M. from Iowa State University in Ames; and his Ph.D. in epidemiology/economics from Michigan State University in East Lansing. 

  • Item #: 0925cAntibiotics
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