January 3, 2012 Vilsack Supports Obama Food Safety Efforts- Raises Flags With AVMA
The president of the American Veterinary Medical Assn. (AVMA) sent a letter Dec. 28 to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reiterating the risk of limiting antibiotic use in food-producing animals without careful consideration of the consequences for human and animal health.
AVMA sent the letter following remarks Vilsack made while discussing the Obama Administration’s food safety efforts that were interpreted by critics of the use of antibiotics in food animals as a sign that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was moving to limit the use of antibiotics in food animals. The department later clarified that no change in policy had been made.
“AVMA strongly supports the judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals,” AVMA president Dr. Rene Carlson said. “This includes the administration of antibiotics for treatment, control and prevention of animal diseases to promote food safety as well as assure the health and well-being of food producing animals. To restrict certain uses of antibiotics without careful consideration of the risks and benefits to both humans and animals removes a very valuable tool in the veterinarian’s medical bag for preventing and minimizing animal disease and suffering while also ensuring a safe and wholesome food supply.”
The letter is available at www.avmaorg/issues/vilsack-letter-antimicrobials-111228.pdf