Animal Health Institute Statement on NARMS Retail Meat Results

Washington, D.C. – Today’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System’s 2012 Retail Meat report is significant and welcome. It shows that antibiotics can and are being used to effectively keep food animals healthy while minimizing the potential for transfer of resistant bacteria from animals to people.

Antibiotic resistant is a major health concern, and the Centers for Disease Control has listed 18 specific pathogens of great concern in the United States. Only two of those – Salmonella and Campylobacter – were linked to animals by the CDC. While the human health community focuses on the 16 pathogens that are largely nosocomial infections we in agriculture are focusing our efforts where we can make a difference. Today’s report shows encouraging progress. Resistance in Salmonella from poultry shows declines. Overall, multi-drug resistance in Salmonella continues the long-term downward trend.

It is instructive to view the findings of this report in light of the 2013 Summary Report of Antimicrobial sales released by FDA last week. Sales data do not correlate with resistance and as evidenced by the NARMS data are not a measure of public health impact. Today’s NARMS report shows encouraging trends that are more illustrative of public health impact than sales data.

Media Contact: Ron Phillips: (202) 637-2440