VSAG on Watch: Antibiotics & Food Safety

The call for fewer antibiotics to be used within our nation’s medical system as well as within our food supply has been answered within the hallowed halls of the White House.

The catalyst: reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that at least two million illnesses annually in the U.S. alone, and approximately 23,000 deaths, are believed to be attributed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Legislatures recently issued a memorandum to combat these numbers by encouraging responsible use of antibiotics in not only our medical communities, but also within our agricultural system. Namely, to educate food producers (i.e. meat and poultry producers) to the consequence overuse and misuse of antibiotics can have within our food system… that of the ultimate ineffectiveness of these drugs.

Therefore, federal policy is focused on requiring stewardship programs relating to the use of antibiotics in medical and agricultural settings, as well as reducing (and eventually eliminating) the practice of offering antibiotics to food-producing animals for growth promotion.

How so? By way of issuing state guidelines for farmers and their veterinarians to follow re: giving antibiotics to farm animals.

To support policy efforts, the White House recently announced that civilian government cafeterias and the Presidential Food Service, which operates the White House Mess and serves the president and his family, would begin offering meat raised with fewer (or no) antibiotics.

We’re sure that these types of high profile commitments will invoke change and a consumer demand towards antibiotic-free meat in food establishments around the U.S.