US pork board shows support for reducing antibiotic resistance

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

The US government's budget has been doubled to $1.2bn
The US government's budget has been doubled to $1.2bn

Related tags Antibiotic resistance Pork Livestock

The Iowa-based National Pork Board (NPB) has said it "applauds" the White House’s action plan for tackling antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Earlier this year the Obama administration announced it would be doubling its budget to $1.2bn to fight the growing issue of antibiotic resistance.

The NPB said the £1.2bn commitment, if realised, would enable the pig farmer-funded Pork Checkoff to expand its existing research in this area.

Chris Hodges, chief executive of the NPB, said: "Collaboration across our industry – from the farms to the dinner table – is critical.

"America’s pig farmers welcome this new federal initiative and are committed to continuous improvement to ensure responsible antibiotic use on the farm."

At the time of the White House announcement, Jonathan Kaplan, director of the food and agriculture program at the Natural Resources Defence Council, said there was no sign the money would be used to enforce a significant reduction in usage or that the livestock industry – which uses around 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US – would be put under any pressure to report its antibiotic use.

However Hodges has said the NPB’s pledges "go above and beyond simply complying with federal guidance".

"The Pork Checkoff has deployed millions of producer dollars to fund antimicrobial research for well over a decade and, as noted in the White House statement, is one of the leading agricultural organisations to lead research efforts,"​ he added.

The Board also shares its research findings with retailers and foodservice companies, which it said helped to underscore the safeguards already in place for antibiotic use in pork production, as well as readying companies to provide information to any consumers who ask.

Related topics Meat

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