Capitol Hill Antibiotics Briefing

The Animal Health Institute held a briefing on July 20, 2010 in the Capitol Visitors Center on the use of antibiotics and animals. The purpose of the briefing, “Layers of Protection to Safeguard Human Health,” was to examine how government regulatory and monitoring programs and private initiatives work together to protect animal health and human health.

There has been much debate about whether antibiotic resistant bacteria can develop in animals and transfer to humans. To ensure farmers can use antibiotics to keep food animals healthy without adding to the burden of antibiotic resistance, both government agencies and the private sector have put in place several layers of protection. The briefing examined these various programs and reviewed the studies, known as risk assessments, which are used to measure how well they are working to prevent this risk of antibiotic resistance transfer.

The briefing focused in three core areas:

  • The FDA Approval Process: Risk management tools for preventing the transfer of resistant bacteria
  • Antibiotic Research and the Development Process: How companies work to manage the risk of antibiotic resistance
  • Review of Protection Mechanisms: What data and risk assessments say about the risk of antibiotics used in animal agriculture

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