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Food Safety News

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antibiotic resistance

USDA, Obama commit to food safety research

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing grants totaling more than $30 million to fund 80 research projects aimed at improving food safety, reducing antibiotic resistance in food and increasing the resilience of plants. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the grant awards Wednesday, also saying that President Obama’s 2017 budget proposes investing $700 million for… Continue Reading

Bacteriophages: An Old Antibiotic Alternative Becomes New Again

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The increasing global attention to the threat of antibiotic resistance has spurred research and development of antimicrobial alternatives. Once such alternative is bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. There are thousands of different types and they are so abundant in the environment – an estimated 1030 live on the planet – that… Continue Reading

2015 in Review: Animal Antibiotics

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It’s difficult to summarize what happened on the animal antibiotics front this year. There were lots of pledges, lots of discussions and lots of reports, but not very many actions. Still, we still wanted to recap what happened in the 2015 regarding animal antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that antibiotic-resistant infections… Continue Reading

Coming Next Summer: Antibiotic-Free Chicken From Papa John’s

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Papa John’s is the latest fast-food chain to announce plans to cut out antibiotics from its chicken production. But while McDonald’s set a two-year timeline, Chick-fil-A set a five-year timeline, and Subway was criticized for setting no timeline at all, the pizza chain is pledging to be antibiotic-free by next summer. Papa John’s will be the… Continue Reading

Antibiotics Sales to Farms Up 23 Percent Since 2009

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According to newly released federal data, sales of medically important antimicrobials used in food-producing animals in the U.S. increased by 3 percent in 2014 and by 23 percent between 2009 and 2014. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its summary of the information animal drug sponsors are required by the Animal Drug… Continue Reading

International Targets Recommended for Reducing Animal Antibiotic Use

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If you want to reduce something, a good place to start is with a target. That’s what the U.K.’s Review of Antimicrobial Resistance suggests in its new report on antibacterial use in agriculture. More antibiotics are used on animals than humans, and bacteria that become drug-resistant as the result of overuse can infect humans through… Continue Reading

White House Releases Fall 2015 Regulatory Plan

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The White House has released its “Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” for fall 2015, which provides an overview of the Obama administration’s regulatory plans for the coming year. Two final rules expected to be released next month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)… Continue Reading

Report: Most Turkey Producers Allow Routine Antibiotic Use

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Humane farming advocates Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) have released an overview of the antibiotics and other drugs used in turkey production. The organization is part of the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition, which recommends that food animal producers limit the use of medically important antibiotics to disease treatment in order to prevent overuse and subsequent… Continue Reading

Study: E. Coli Can Transfer Antibiotic Resistance to Other Bacteria

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Scientists have discovered a gene in E. coli that makes it resistant to a class of “last-resort” antibiotics known as polymyxins. The gene can also transfer resistance to other epidemic pathogens such as K. pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. According to research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the mcr-1 gene is widespread in Enterobacteriaceae samples from pigs in… Continue Reading

First World Antibiotic Awareness Week Focuses on Education

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This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the governments of several countries want people to learn more about antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health today, and, while it occurs naturally, misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals accelerates the process. Monday kicked off the first World Antibiotic Awareness… Continue Reading