National Symposium Focus: 360-Degree View Of Antibiotic Use In Food Animals

Antibiotic use in food animals has been dissected in the media, online and among consumers for the past several years and is a hot topic among those involved in food animal production. Most people have a definite point of view regarding this polarized topic and express that point of view in discussions with professional colleagues, friends and family. But is the information delivered or received fact based, simply emotion based or rhetoric?

An upcoming “Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose” symposium Oct. 26-27 in Chicago, Ill., will provide a 360-degree view regarding antibiotic use in food animals and is open to anyone interested in the topic of antibiotic use in food animal production. Hosted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, the symposium will provide a platform where those in animal agriculture, human health and the media can interact, dialogue and learn from each other.

Dr. Leonard Bull, chairman of the symposium planning committee, says the symposium will focus on four key areas:

• The use of antibiotics in food animal production

• Human health implications relative to antibiotic use

• Understanding and communicating the risks associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in livestock

• Identifying additional research needs regarding how and to what extent antimicrobial resistance develops in humans and animals

“Symposium presenters are going to take an in-depth, science-based look at the benefits of antibiotics to animals and to humans and zero in specifically on when antibiotics need to be used, what we all currently know and don’t know and what each of us needs to know,” Bull states. “I want to stress that the symposium will be a dialogue, not a debate.

“Learning will go beyond the information from the presenters as attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions and seek additional information after each presentation or panel.”

Moderating the symposium will be Dr. Scott Hurd, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine and former Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety, USDA/Food Safety Inspection Service.

Symposium presenters and topics include:

• “A Clinical Pharmacologist's View of the Interaction of Antimicrobials and Bacteria in Food Animals”—Dr. Mike Apley, Professor, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Production Medicine/Clinical Pharmacology

• “The Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance in Human Health”—Dr. Robert Flamm, Director of Antimicrobial Development, JMI Laboratories

• “Antibiotics in Food Production”—Mr. Ron Phillips, Vice President of Legislative and Public Affairs, Animal Health Institute, moderator. Panelists will address: 1) Does volume of antibiotics used in animal agriculture matter, and is it an indication of the public health threat? How accurate are the numbers typically reported? 2) How and why are antibiotics used in animal agriculture? What role is played by FDA? 3) Weighing the risks and benefits, what are the public health implications of not using antibiotics in animal agriculture?

• Panelists: Dr. Mike Apley, Professor, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Production Medicine/Clinical Pharmacology, beef cattle panelist; Dr. Mike Lormore, Director of Dairy Veterinary Operations, Pfizer Animal Health, dairy cattle panelist; Dr. Hector Cervantes, Senior Manager of Poultry Technical Services - North American Region, Phibro Animal Health, poultry panelist; and Dr. Paul Ruen, Fairmont Veterinary Clinic, swine panelist.

• “Initiatives to Ensure Public Health, Food Safety, Animal Health and Welfare of Antibiotic Use in Food Animals”—Dr. Tom Shryock, Senior Research Advisor of Microbiology, Elanco Animal Health

• “Challenges in Antibiotic Product Development in a Rapidly Changing Global Landscape” —Dr. Scott Brown, Senior Director of Metabolism and Safety, Pfizer Animal Health

• “Risk Management Approaches to Antimicrobial Resistance in the U.S. and Abroad: Expectations, Results and Conundrums”—Dr. H. Morgan Scott, Professor, Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Epidemiology

• “U.S. FDA Initiatives Regarding the Judicious Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals”—Dr. William T. Flynn, Deputy Director for Science Policy, Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine

• “Understanding and Communicating the Risks of Livestock MRSA” —Dr. Tara Smith, Assistant Professor, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology

• “Livestock Associated MRSA: What is the Appropriate Level of Concern?”—Dr. Peter Davies, Professor, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine

• “Reaching Out to Consumers”— Dr. Mike Lormore, Director of Dairy Veterinary Operations, Pfizer Animal Health

“As you can see, we’re bringing in the big guns—the experts—who will help each of us see the big picture, identify consensus points, pinpoint potential gaps and discuss next steps,” Bull underscores. “The goal is to understand concerns, learn from each other and develop strategies that will work for all.”

The symposium, which will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel, O’Hare, Chicago, Ill., will kick off at 3:00 p.m. Oct. 26, and wrap up at 3:00 p.m. Oct. 27. The symposium immediately follows the 2011 Food System Summit, Oct. 25-26, hosted by the Center for Food Integrity at the same venue.

Details of presentations and the time schedule for the symposium are available online at www.animalagriculture.org.

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is a non-profit, membership-driven organization that unites and advances animal agriculture—the beef, dairy, equine, goat, poultry, sheep and swine industries. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work toward the eradication of diseases that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and animal well-being. Members of NIAA include livestock producers, producer organizations, veterinarians, scientists, state and federal officials, and agribusiness executives.

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