The Ag Minute: FDA Should Use Science, Not Political Posturing, When Considering Antibiotic Use in Agriculture

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. John Shimkus, discusses how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on the use of antibiotics in farm animals and how such a practice would negatively impact public health and American farm jobs.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"Recently, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health – on which I am the Ranking Republican – heard testimony about the use of antibiotics in farm animals. 

"During the hearing, we heard that veterinarians and producers have adopted and implemented judicious-use programs to ensure antibiotics are properly and safely used.  We also heard that the Food and Drug Administration is considering banning certain uses of antibiotics in animals despite the fact that other countries that have taken this approach have more than tripled the use of antibiotics to treat sick and dying animals. 

"In no case has any country demonstrated a direct human health benefit following prohibition of the specific uses of antibiotics now targeted by FDA.

"After talking to producers from my district and experts in the field, I understand this proposed ban could have serious negative consequences for both public health and jobs in the industry.

"FDA needs to make decisions based on sound science, not on unproven theories.  That science does not exist today.

"I do not believe it is appropriate to jeopardize our public health and thousands of American farm jobs based on political posturing and unproven theories."

The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas's weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.