AHI STATEMENT: FDA Report on Sales of Antibiotics for Use in Food Producing Animals

Washington, DC – December 7, 2017 – Antibiotic sales – whether they go up or down – are not predictors of public health impact. While today’s sales report is an interesting piece of the story, we are more encouraged by the recent data from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System that shows that for those pathogens that might transfer from animals to humans, resistance rates in people have been stable or declining. Over the 20-year life of the program, Salmonella resistance in humans has steadily declined. This trend of reduced resistance began long before implementation of FDA’s judicious use program and is evidence that producer supported antimicrobial responsible use programs have been working.

We are committed to the One Health goal that antibiotic use in all settings, human or veterinary, should be judicious. That’s why we worked in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration to implement the Judicious Use program, eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics for promoting growth in food animals, and making sure all remaining uses are under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

Public policy that focuses only on reducing the amount of antibiotic used has not reduced antibiotic resistant rates in humans and can result in more animal disease and death. We will continue to work with customers, veterinarians and other stakeholders to preserve a safe food supply and protect public health through the careful and judicious use of antibiotics to keep food animals healthy.