Is anyone paying attention to antibiotic resistance? You might wonder during lulls between headlines whether others share your concern about antibiotics working when you or your kids need them. Don’t be concerned. All may seem quiet, but beneath the surface is a worldwide network of agencies and programs keeping close watch and working to address antibiotic resistance.
The Food and Drug Administration releases animal antibiotic sales data annually. The report for 2016 shows decreases in two key categories: sales for livestock and poultry, and medically important antibiotics. Although the latest report shows a reduction, we need to focus on using antibiotics responsibly, which in agriculture means to use less while preserving the ability to responsibly use antibiotics when needed.
The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is an important factor in providing the safe, affordable food we need and want. At the same time, antibiotic resistance is a complex and serious issue. That’s why farmers, veterinarians and regulators, principally the Food and Drug Administration, collaborated to address antibiotic resistance, changing the way animal agriculture operates today.