A report from the think tank Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy warns there are more and more cases of antibiotic-resistant infections around the world, "and the agricultural use of antibiotics plays a large part," says Modern Farmer.
The veterinary pharmaceutical industry strongly opposes an FDA proposal to collect more details about antibiotic use in livestock, said Agri-Pulse.
Researchers have found antibiotic-resistant genes are spreading to bacteria on Australian wildlife, says Macquarie University.
The Urban School Food Alliance, composed of six of the largest U.S. school districts, announced its members want antibiotic-free chicken to serve in their cafeterias.
A large number of the medically important antibiotics given to cattle, hogs and poultry now sold over the counter to livestock producers will come under veterinary control in the next couple of years, says the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The FDA program to phase out use of antibiotics as a growth promotant in food animals "may allow some injudicious uses to persist," says the Pew Trusts' Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming.
President Obama directed the government to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with the Agriculture Department taking a major role. The executive order signed by Obama also told FDA to eliminate agricultural use of medically important antibiotics as growth-promoting agent. The agency started work on that point in December with drugmakers given three years to make the transition. Agriculture is commonly believed to buy 80 percent of antibiotics annually.
A small-scale study in North Carolina "suggests that nearly half of workers who care for animals in large industrial hog farming operations may be carrying home livestock-associated bacteria in their noses, and that this potentially harmful bacteria remains with them up to four days after exposure," says Johns Hopkins University.
Health Canada announced a three-year phase-out of subtherapeutic use of antibiotics in food animals, a step that parallels U.S. action.