The Political Economy of US Antibiotic Use in Animal Feed
This chapter examines the evidence for antibiotic resistance in the United States and globally, the public health implications, and the impact of—and related industry and political responses to—antibiotic use in animal feed. In 1969, the Swann Report in the United Kingdom noted a dramatic increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food animals receiving low levels of antibiotics in their feed. While the Food and Drug Administration of the United States sought to control antibiotics in animal feed as far back as 1977, only in 2016 were such regulations fully implemented. The farm-level costs of such controls are estimated by the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to be minimal, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimates of the public health costs of antibiotic resistance without implementing controls are $7 billion annually. The complex interactions which exist between economic interests, regulatory policy, and human and animal health are explored in this chapter.
KeywordsAntimicrobial resistance Antibiotics in animal feed Medically important antibiotics FDA Guidance 209 Veterinary Feed Directive Food labeling
Animal Drug Availability Act
Animal Health Institute
Agricultural Marketing Service
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Agricultural and Resource Management Survey
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Economic Research Service, USDA
Food Animal Concerns Trust
United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization
US Food and Drug Administration
Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
Guidance for Industry
Institute of Medicine
UK Medical Research Council
No Antibiotics Ever
National Animal Health Monitoring System
National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System—Enteric Bacteria
National Agricultural Statistics Service
Natural Resources Defense Council
World Organization for Animal Health
Raised without antibiotics
Union of Concerned Scientists
United States Department of Agriculture
Veterinary Feed Directive
World Animal Health Information System
World Health Organization
We deeply appreciated the conversations with and review comments from Mary Ahearn in developing and writing this chapter. Any remaining errors, mistakes, or omissions are of course ours.
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