Raymond discussed how he grew up and practiced family medicine in rural Nebraska before moving to Omaha to serve as the state’s chief medical officer under then Governor Mike Johanns. There he witnessed first-hand the health problems associated with poverty and poor nutrition in an urban environment and gained an understanding of the need for access to wholesome, affordable food. “We are providing the safest and most affordable food supply in the world,” he says. “The words—like antibiotic resistance—that groups like the Pew Commission and others toss around are meant to inflame the American public and disinform them.”
When asked about antibiotic resistance caused by livestock production, experts noted that the Food and Drug Administration is taking action currently to ensure that antibiotics continue to be used responsibly on farms.
“Congress is not the right tool to make policies based on science; they make policies based on politics,” said Raymond. “The FDA has done good job of maintaining animal health but being aware of human health,” added Glisson. “You have to admire how they have taken pressure from various groups and made the correct changes.”
The experts also strongly refuted activists’ claims that 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. are given to farm animals. “If you want to have a discussion about antibiotics, then let’s narrow it down the 18 percent where there’s cross-over between human and animal medicine” said Raymond.
Hurd was highly critical of the methodology and review of literature used in the original Pew report. He detailed the lack of scientific validity of the report in his HurdHealth.com blog. “Careful scientific critique of these Pew reports strongly suggests they have ‘cherry-picked’ selected papers to make a politically motivated point,” he says. “Pew purposefully not giving the whole story is misleading to the consumer and is misinforming them about the facts of animal agriculture as a whole. (Although, misleading marketing tactics do seem to be all the rage these days.)”
Read the full report from the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
Find the report from the Center for a Livable Future here.