Chief Veterinarian Addresses Joint Public Meeting Regarding Antimicrobial Data Collection
WASHINGTON (September 30, 2015) - Today, Kathy Simmons, DVM, Chief Veterinarian, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, delivered comments before a joint public meeting of the Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and Center for Disease Control addressing antimicrobial use and resistance data collection.
“NCBA believes that a clear strategy for data collection, analysis and reporting must first be established before moving forward with the data collection process in order to provide information that correctly represents actual antimicrobial drug use in food-producing animals,” said Dr. Simmons, adding that antimicrobial use data collection needs to be revised. “We agree that the antimicrobial drug sales and distribution data currently collected by FDA under ADUFA does not equate to antimicrobial drug use in food-producing animals. We are appreciative of the desire of the agencies to obtain broad stakeholder involvement and collaboration in the process to seek the best possible options available for collecting and analyzing on-farm antimicrobial drug use information.”
NCBA has a long history supporting antimicrobial stewardship that directs responsible antibiotic use in all sectors of the beef cattle industry. This commitment dates back to the first release of the Beef Producer Guidelines for Judicious Use of Antimicrobials in 1987, which is still utilized in an updated form by producers today.
“We do not believe that the reduction in the volume of antimicrobial drugs used in food-producing animals should be used as the sole measurement for the success of a judicious antimicrobial drug use strategy,” said Simmons. Instead, “there must be a way to link antimicrobial drug use metrics with the reason for drug use and animal population parameters rather than simply reporting aggregate quantities for which the only goal is reduction.”
Additionally, Simmons cautioned FDA on privacy concerns, stating that ensuring the anonymity of participants and safeguarding the information gathered in the system is of utmost importance to cattle producers.
As the conversation continues in Washington D.C., NCBA will remain engaged. Cattlemen and women appreciate the efforts of FDA to help bring more transparency and increased granularity to the antibiotic sales data for food-producing animals as well as the collaborative approach FDA is taking between industry users, federal agencies, and animal health companies.