Kayla K's policy paper

Kopfmann 24 September 2008
Antibiotic Use in Animal Feed
Most people eat meat on a daily basis to keep healthy and receive protein and other nutrients. However, as with many foods, additives, chemicals, and some strains antibiotic resistant bacteria also exist in the meat of food production animals(5). Resistant strains are caused by the overuse of antibiotics in feed, which develops resistance in the animal’s flora bacteria. These flora bacteria are transferred from pork, poultry, and cattle to humans via uptake of meat and meat by-products by direct and indirect routes (1). Direct routes include humans eating meat of animals subject to antibiotic use in feed; caring for feces of these animals; and also touching the animals skin, nares, mouth or urine (3). An indirect route would include be if an animal subject to antibiotic use in feed licked another animal and the human made contact with the strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria through touch (3). Due to non-therapeutic use of human antibiotics for animal consumption for weight gain promotion, people are ingesting and accumulating strains of resistant bacteria (7).
Many human food related outbreaks are due to strains of resistant bacteria that are continually being linked to animals of food production (4). This is because tetracyclines, macrolides, streptogramins, and fluoroquinolones, all antibiotic compounds given to humans in clinical settings, are the same non-therapeutic drugs added to animal feedstuffs being fed to animals raised for human consumption (7). Used in the feed, the antibiotics may cause strains of resistant bacteria to develop in the gastrointestinal tracts of the animals, which serve as a reservoir for the spread of drug resistant bacteria into humans, and other animals (6).
As well as being harmful to humans through consumption, the antibiotics are harmful for the environment. Animals that are rationed human antibiotics for weight gain develop problems with absorption in the gut, resulting in about 75% of the compounds being broken down and excreted as waste product into the environment (6).
Due to the many factors presented, measures need to be taken in order to control the use of antibiotics as growth promotion additives for animals raised for food production. The following policy supported and enacted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will set guidelines for farmers and ranchers to follow concerning non-therapeutic antibiotic use in food production animals.
A. Farmers and ranchers will not be allowed to purchase antibiotics for their livestock, flocks, or herds without investigation and prescription from a veterinarian. This will confirm that the antibiotics are not being misused and given in inappropriate amounts.
B. Should antibiotics be prescribed and used, mandatory and detailed documentation will be issued and kept on file with the veterinary office and also sent to the FDA for liability purposes concerning the farmer/rancher and veterinarian.
Two weeks before butchering and selling food production animals, blood tests will be run to see if antibiotics were given. If test results are positive for antibiotic use, the FDA will be notified and proof of prescription will need to be presented and approved. First violation of the policy by any farmer/rancher or veterinarian will result in a $25,000 fine. Second offense will result in a court trial, and the possibility of the accused having to pay for medical bills presented by infected person(s). Should a fourth violation occur, the farmer/rancher or veterinarian will be forced to sellout enterprise or quit veterinary medical practice, respectively, by the FDA board members.
According to the FDA the use of antibiotics is still approved and regulated which may cause farmers/ranchers to argue that this policy is unjust (7). On the other hand, these farmers and ranchers are not fully educated on the effects antibiotic use has in humans because pork, poultry, and cattle are their focus. The use of antibiotic compounds in animal feedstuff is causing human beings to develop bacterial diseases and infections that are not treatable by common antibiotics because their cells have mutated to be resistant to the antibiotics effects.
Another major argument for farmers and ranchers in favor of antibiotic use is that their animals are gaining more weight, free from diseases that wipe out large numbers of herds/flocks, and mainly making them more money(4). Yes, money is important, but saving human lives instead of bulking up animals of food production should be the nationwide focus. Alternatives to the antibiotics are being tossed around and talked about which would be economically safer and beneficial to uninfected humans.
This new-formed policy must be enforced to reduce antibiotic resistance and keep both animals and humans safe from incurable infections.

1) Aksoy, A., Yildirim, M., Kaçmaz, B., Apan, T., & Göçmen, J. (2007, August). Verotoxin Production in Strains of Escherichia coli Isolated from Cattle and Sheep, and Their Resistance to Antibiotics. Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, 31(4), 225-231. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
2) “Aminoglycoside Antibiotics in Feed — Apramycin, Gentamicin, Neomycin.” (2007, September 2). LC-GC North America, Retrieved September 25, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
3) Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. “Part 10 – Special Data: Antibiotic Resistance.”
<http://www.apvma.gov.au/MORAG_vet/vol_3/part_10_antibiotic_resistance.html> Retrieved October 2, 2008.
4) Baker, R. (2006, November). Health Management with Reduced Antibiotic Use—The U.S. Experience. Animal Biotechnology, 17(2), 195-205. Retrieved September 25, 2008.
5) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Get Smart on the Farm—Antibiotic Resistance 101.” <http://www.cdc.gov/narms/gsf_spotlight/ar_101.pdf> Retrieved September 25, 2008.
6) Mackie, R., Koike, S., Krapac, I., Chee-Sanford, J., Maxwell, S., & Aminov, R. (2006, November). Tetracycline Residues and Tetracycline Resistance Genes in Groundwater Impacted by Swine Production Facilities. Animal Biotechnology, 17(2), 157-176. Retrieved September 25, 2008.
7) Sapkota, Amy R., et al. “What Do We Feed to Food-Production Animals? A Review of Animal Feed Ingredients and Their Potential Impacts on Human Health.” Environmental Health Perspectives, 115(5): 663-670. Retrieved September 25, 2008.

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