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Pew Charitable Trust Still Opposing Antibiotics


The Pew Charitable Trust has partnered with the Farm Foundation to establish “effective stewardship” to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock production. Organizations such as the Pew Charitable Trust are simply reiterating established FDA restrictions on the use of antibiotics to  create the impression that they are driving the trend.

The stewardship framework has ensnared pharmaceutical companies such as Elanco Animal Health and Zoetis, producer organizations including the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Turkey Federation. Producers involved in the framework include Smithfield Foods Inc., Tyson Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store. Customers for the livestock industry affiliated with the framework include McDonald’s Corp. and Walmart.

The Director of the Pew Charitable Trust Antibiotic Resistance project, Cathy Talkington stated “Antibiotic stewardship is essential to protect human and animal health, ensuring food safety and security and combatting antibiotic resistance.” She added “The organizations who are part of this dialog represent the food animal supply chain from farm to table and they recognize the need for meaningful stewardship programs that everyone can understand and trust.”

The antibiotic stewardship framework comprises 15 components dealing with treatment, record-keeping and “culture of continuous improvement and commitment to antibiotic stewardship”. There is nothing in the framework which deviates from accepted FDA regulations and professional veterinary ethics.

It is questioned whether the Pew Charitable Trust is sincere in its objective of reducing resistance to antibiotics or whether the issue is not a thinly veiled attempt to opposed intensive livestock production under the guise of public health.