The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially recommended the food community stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine.
Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA Acting Chief Scientist, said “The WHO guidelines are not in alignment with U.S. policy and are not supported by sound science. The recommendations erroneously conflate disease prevention with growth promotion in animals. The WHO previously requested that the standards for on-farm antibiotic use in animals be updated through a transparent, consensus, science-based process of CODEX. However, before the first meeting of the CODEX was held, the WHO released these guidelines, which according to language in the guidelines are based on ‘low-quality evidence,’ and in some cases, ‘very low-quality evidence.'” His full statement can be found here.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) released this statement: “A ban on disease prevention uses of antibiotics in food-animal production being advocated by the World Health Organization would be ill-advised and wrong. Denying pigs, cows and chickens necessary antibiotics would be unethical and immoral, leading to animal suffering and possibly death, and could compromise the nation’s food system.” The complete release can be found here.