Medical health professionals and public health experts in the United States say they are increasingly concerned by the routine use of human antibiotics on farms.

 

They say the use of the drugs in the food and water of food animals results in antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans that cause extended hospital stays and increased health care costs.

 

A Senate briefing was told by a panel of experts this week that “antibiotic resistance is a public health crisis that will only worsen if we don’t act now.”

 

Panelists at the briefing discussed the “alarming increase” in human antibiotic-resistant infections.

 

They also discussed the presence of antibiotic-resistant foodborne pathogens in retail meat, and the emergence of a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in both humans and pigs which poses risks to US pig farmers, their communities, and the public at large.

 

The panel also discussed potential trade implications for US farmers associated with antibiotic use.

 

Source: Keep Antibiotics Working

Source: FoodWeek Online, 15 April 2010, http://www.foodweek.com.au/main-features-page.aspx?ID=7025

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