- The Washington Times - Monday, January 12, 2009

Laura Rogers (“End misuse of antibiotics,” Letters, Thursday) is correct in saying antibiotic resistance is a major problem. However, she is wrong to imply that the livestock industry is largely to blame.

How much antibiotic use on farms affects antibiotic resistance in humans is not known. Also, far from being the cause of the problem, modern livestock confinement systems are designed to lessen the use of antibiotics by keeping animals healthy.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria develop from many factors, including the use of household disinfectants such as antibacterial soap. On a per-pound basis, it’s estimated that people and their pets consume 10 times the amount of antibiotics that food animals do. Also, more than 80 percent of antibiotic-resistant infections are acquired in health-care facilities; they have no connection to food animals.

Veterinarians and livestock producers work together to select and administer antibiotics that protect animal health and ensure safe food. Animal antibiotics are not the problem.



National Pork Producers Council

Canal Winchester, Ohio

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