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AGRIBUSINESS: Report Leads To Call For Action On Antibiotic Resistance Issues

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A new report out from the Center for Science in the Public Interest claims the majority of foodborne illness outbreaks caused by antibiotic-resistance pathogens since 1973 have occurred in the past 13 years; 34 of 55 outbreaks.

Dairy products, ground beef and poultry were identified as the source of half of that figure. In May of 2011, CSPI petitioned USDA to declare antibiotic-resistant Salmonella as an adulterant, which would make it illegal in meat products.

The report fueled the fire for Representatives such as New York’s Louise Slaughter, who says evidence exists that the practice of overusing antibiotics in food animals is ruining the effectiveness of these drugs.

The National Pork Producers Council President Randy Spronk disagrees; he says pork producers use antibiotics judiciously, under a veterinarian’s supervision, in part to protect public health and the health of their animals, and by extension to produce safe food.