The use of antimicrobial drugs in livestock results in healthier animals with fewer zoonotic infections, which in turn reduces the likelihood that these diseases will spread to humans, according to comments by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI warned that a ban of antimicrobial drugs could unintentionally increase the threat of foodborne illness in the United States.

Recent research indicates that carcasses from slaughtered animals not treated with antimicrobials are more likely to be contaminated with human pathogenic microorganisms than those from treated animals, says CEI. Preventing the occurrence of disease in individual animals, and stopping the spread of such diseases throughout herds and flocks once they appear are important for keeping these diseases from affecting human populations.

According to the CEI comments, it is unrealistic to expect that the effectiveness of any given antimicrobial can be preserved indefinitely. But, when used judiciously in animals or humans, the development of resistance to antimicrobials may be delayed. Eventually, however, older classes of antimicrobials that can no longer be relied upon as effective therapeutic agents will have to be replaced with newer therapeutic options, including but not limited to new classes of antimicrobial drugs.

CEI has a long history of research and advocacy regarding the regulation of health and safety risks, with a particular emphasis on food and drug safety.

Read the full report.

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute