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AFIA and Animal-Ag Groups Send Letter to White House Regarding Antibiotic Use

Anne Keller, AFIA

The American Feed Industry Association today led a broad-based group of 20 organizations related to animal agriculture in sending a letter regarding the on-farm use of low-level antibiotics in livestock and poultry to Melody Barnes, assistant to President Obama for domestic policy.

The letter was addressed to Barnes, but it also was transmitted to the offices of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg and FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein.

AFIA’s government affairs consultant Steve Kopperud of Policy Directions Inc. prepared the letter in response to challenges to the use of antimicrobials in U.S. animal production by several groups that claim it is a major contributor to antimicrobial resistance in humans. This letter provides the administration with some substantiated data and requests continued, open dialogue with FDA officials on this critical issue.

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