National Pork Producers Council representatives are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a new guidance document for evaluating antimicrobial resistance within new animal drug applications. Futhermore, that they should be based on scientific practices and offer producers with the flexibility needed to treat livestock for disease. At a public meeting held on Wednesday, NPPC Past President Barbara Determan told agency officials that while producers support the new guidance, it could have great impact on family pork operations.

“For the U.S. pork industry, the prudent use of antibiotics is essential to ensuring healthy animals,” Determan said. “Producers are the first line of defense in providing safe, nutritious and high quality food products. The guidance raises doubts as to the options available to treat livestock for disease.”

FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine organized the public meeting to provide an opportunity for stakeholders in the issue to discuss the draft proposal which is a “guidance to the industry” and not a formal rule. The guidance suggests procedures that drug manufacturers could use to determine whether new animal antibiotics would contribute to a resistance in drugs used to treat humans. Others participating in the meeting included pharmaceutical industry
representatives, governmental officials, university researchers and livestock commodity leaders.

Determan said there are some unintended economic consequences to severely
restricting antibiotics. “On today’s farms without having the option to group-medicate animals, it is simply too costly and physically unfeasible to individually administer antibiotics, as proposed undert the guidance,” she said.

In addition to her service on NPPC's Board, Determan is a hog, corn and
soybean producer from Early, Iowa.

National Pork Producers Council.