New FDA report shows decline in sales of medically important antibiotics

A new report from the FDA shows sales of medically important antibiotics for use in livestock production have declined.  This is the first data available following the implementation of the agency’s guidelines that prohibited such sales on January 1, 2017.

Dr. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council says prior to implementation, sales had dropped 10 percent in volume.  “And then we showed another 33 percent drop of medically important antibiotic sales by volume on this report,” she says.

She tells Brownfield the swine industry, despite a growing swine herd, showed a 35 percent decrease in estimated use.

Wagstrom says that drop shows the PQA Plus Stewardship program is effective.  “Pork producers were very ready for the changes in regulations,” she says.  “They have been committed to improving stewardship and I think these numbers are validation that we are doing our job around stewardship.”

Food companies, retailers and some of the major livestock groups have joined together to draft a new framework to continue to improve the use of antibiotics in the livestock sector.  “What’s the culture on the farm, is there veterinary oversight,” she says.  “Some of those sorts of things.  And then finally a list of principles of what a stewardship program should entail.”

Wagstrom says the principles of the framework are very much in-line with the PQA Plus program that pork producers already utilize.

Walmart, Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods, McDonald’s, Hormel Foods, Jenni-O-Turkey, Elanco Animal Health, Zoetis, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, and the National Milk Producers Federation all took part in series of discussion over the past two years that were moderated by the Farm Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

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