The Government Accountability Office has issued a report that confirms what the U.S. pork industry has been claiming for years: “There is little or inadequate data available to link antibiotic use in food animals with antibiotic resistance in humans.”
The report was requested by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), who is the author of legislation that would ban the use of certain antibiotics in food animals. GAO found that USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration don’t adequately track antibiotic use in food animals, and thus GAO officials can’t determine the role it might play in the development of drug resistance in people.
“Not only is there no scientific study linking antibiotic use in food animals to antibiotic resistance in humans, but there isn’t even adequate data to conduct a study,” says Doug Wolf, president, National Pork Producers Council. “The GAO report on antibiotic resistance concludes that the limited data collected lack the crucial details necessary to examine trends and understand the relationship between use and resistance.”