Issue Brief

Recommendations to the FDA Regarding the Use of Antibiotics in Food Animal Production

  • February 22, 2012

The American Medical Association, American Association of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, World Health Organization and other medical and public health organizations recognize the need to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics in people, as well as in animal agriculture. It is estimated that up to 70 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on industrial farms in healthy food animals, to promote growth and to compensate for the effects of overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. This practice promotes the development of deadly strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can spread to humans.

As a result of the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, on June 3, 2009, the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming provided the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with recommendations for a range of proposals that could be carried out to improve the efficacy of vital human antibiotics and reduce the serious health threat of antibiotic resistance. Informed by the results of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, the recommendations cover the areas of regulatory clarity and expanding surveillance.

Download the PDF to read the full set of recommendations.