US government announces plan to tackle antibiotic resistance

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention welcome the launch of the new strategy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention welcome the launch of the new strategy

Related tags Antibiotic resistance Bacteria Pork Poultry

The White House has announced it will be putting in place a National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

The strategy lays down national goals, priorities and objectives to provide an over-arching framework for federal investment aimed at combating antibiotic resistance.

Responding to the news, Howard Hill, president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), said the White House was acknowledging something that the NPPC has been saying for years. "More epidemiological research is needed to understand the key drivers of increased antibiotic resistance,"​ he said.

"NPPC is pleased that the administration agrees that more research is needed and looks forward to working further with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA on determining the most informed and appropriate solutions for combating antibiotic resistant bacteria."

Ashley Peterson, Ph.D, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the National Chicken Council (NCC), said: "Preserving antibiotics’ effectiveness, both in humans and animals, is a responsibility chicken producers take seriously."

She said the NCC supported the FDA’s guidelines (numbers 209 and 213) on the phasing out of medically important antibiotics in food animals for growth enhancement by 2016.

"We also support FDA’s proposed Veterinary Feed Directive that ensures that all antibiotics administered to food producing animals are only done so under the care and prescription of a licensed veterinarian.

"Two classes of antibiotics that FDA deems critically important to human medicine, especially for treating foodborne illness in humans — flouroquinolones and cephalosporins — have already been phased out of chicken production for a number of years.

"We look forward to working with the new task force as we continue to implement these new FDA policies, especially as the work relates to defining metrics for success and conducting more research in the area of antibiotic resistance."

Beth Bell, MD, MPH, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), added:

"The National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria is the President’s serious response to the landmark CDC report sounding the alarm on the top antibiotic resistance threats to human health.

"Lack of action means an exponentially worse problem. The national strategy opens a new chapter in the fight against resistance."

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