Pork Board Statement on Antibiotic-Resistant Gene

Jamie Johansen

The National Pork Board reacted to the recent research paper from the Ohio State University research study detailing the researchers’ discovery of an antibiotic-resistant gene in one farrowing barn. They said an important takeaway from the study is that the U.S. pork supply is safe. The resistant gene identified in the study was not found in a market hog, and there was no threat to food safety.

As experts in swine production, the Pork Checkoff is eager to analyze the initial findings, alongside its authors, and better understand results of this report from this farm. Specifically, resistant gene samples were found in one barn, on one site without any confirmed indication of how the resistant gene got there.

Ohio State University researchers acknowledge that it is unknown how the Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria was introduced to the facility and that it could have been introduced by an outside source. The conclusions drawn without further validation, replication and research demonstrate this issue requires additional study.

The fact that CRE was found in one area of the farm indicates that current internal biosecurity measures are effective. The U.S. pork industry supports efforts to monitor for the occurrence of this type of isolated incident. However, consistent with FDA and Pork Quality Assurance® Plus requirements, Ceftiofur should only be used in the treatment and control of disease with veterinarian oversight and direction.

Ag Group, Animal Health, Antibiotics, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Research