Antibiotics

NPPC’s Position

NPPC supports veterinary oversight of antibiotic uses and scientifically rigorous studies and risk assessments to help farmers make informed decisions about the use of antibiotics in food animals.

 

NPPC supports collaborating with the agricultural industry to voluntarily collect information on how antibiotics are used in animals.

Background

Pork producers recognize the importance of using antibiotics responsibly in animals and humans to protect the health and well-being of both while striving to reduce the overall need for antibiotics and sustain their efficacy for future generations. Pork producers depend on the availability of safe and effective animal health products to maintain healthy and productive animals, prevent animal suffering, and ensure consumers have access to safe and wholesome pork products.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict approval processes for antibiotics that consider their safety and efficacy in animals and their potential to affect public health and the environment. FDA’s Guidance for Industry 213 makes it illegal for farmers and veterinarians to administer antibiotics that are medically important for human medicine to food animals to promote growth. It also requires that any medically necessary antibiotics used therapeutically in feed or water be administered under a veterinary order or prescription. NPPC supported this policy.

The FDA also is working with the food-animal industry under Guidance for Industry 263 to move all remaining uses of medically important antibiotics to prescription status. NPPC has collaborated with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FDA to develop plans to collect detailed data on how antibiotics are used in food-animal production to assess the success of Guidance 213 and to better understand the epidemiology of antibiotic resistance.

Fast Facts

Antibiotics have been safely and effectively used to treat, control and prevent disease in animals for more than 50 years. Therapeutic uses of medically important antibiotics are essential to producing safe food.

When antibiotics are used, farmers follow withdrawal periods set by FDA before marketing their animals.

USDA tests for residues to confirm that meat is free of any harmful level of antibiotics.

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