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The Political Economy of US Antibiotic Use in Animal Feed

  • Walter J. ArmbrusterEmail author
  • Tanya Roberts
Chapter
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Antimicrobial resistance Antibiotics in animal feed Medically important antibiotics FDA Guidance 209 Veterinary Feed Directive Food labeling 

Abbreviations

ADAA

Animal Drug Availability Act

AHI

Animal Health Institute

AMS

Agricultural Marketing Service

APHIS

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

AR

Antibiotic resistance

ARDs

Antibiotic-resistant determinants

ARMS

Agricultural and Resource Management Survey

CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CR

Consumer Reports

CSPI

Center for Science in the Public Interest

ERS

Economic Research Service, USDA

FACT

Food Animal Concerns Trust

FAO

United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization

FDA

US Food and Drug Administration

FSIS

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA

GFI

Guidance for Industry

IOM

Institute of Medicine

MRC

UK Medical Research Council

NAE

No Antibiotics Ever

NAHMS

National Animal Health Monitoring System

NARMS

National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System—Enteric Bacteria

NASS

National Agricultural Statistics Service

NRDC

Natural Resources Defense Council

OIE

World Organization for Animal Health

OTC

Over-the-counter

RWA

Raised without antibiotics

UK

United Kingdom

US

United States

UCS

Union of Concerned Scientists

USDA

United States Department of Agriculture

VCPR

Veterinarian-client-patient relationship

VFD

Veterinary Feed Directive

WAHIS

World Animal Health Information System

WHO

World Health Organization

Notes

Acknowledgments

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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Farm Foundation (Retired)DarienUSA
  2. 2.Economic Research ServiceUSDA (retired), Center for Foodborne Illness Research and PreventionVashonUSA

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