The National Pork Board reiterated the proactive steps the U.S. pork industry has taken to ensure responsible antibiotic use on pig farms. Pork industry leaders say calls by various organizations to end antibiotic use on farms are misguided and would have a negative impact on food safety.
“We understand people are confused about the role of antibiotics in meat production and, unfortunately, recently released reports only add to that confusion,” said Dr. Jennifer Koeman, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Director of Producer and Public Health at National Pork Board. “It’s simple — when you produce healthy livestock, you get safe food. The meat you eat is safe due to Food and Drug Administration rules on antibiotics and U.S. Department of Agriculture testing of meat.”
The National Pork Board is implementing a three-point plan of action focused on five research priorities:
- Establishing a blue ribbon panel on antibiotics, an outcome of the Pork Checkoff’s stewardship plan announced this past June. The new, third-party panel includes seven experts with specific experience and knowledge in antibiotic practices or consumer marketing, but who are independent of National Pork Board practices.
- Educating America’s pig farmers on new FDA rules for the use of medically important antibiotics (to treat human illness) in feed and water.
- Investing more than $750,000 in new research projects that span five distinct priorities intended to provide data for animal and public health outcomes (pig health/welfare, human health/safety, environmental impact and pork quality).
- Sharing the innovation of today’s production practices and efforts to responsibly use antibiotics with food chain partners and other important stakeholders.