The National Institute for Animal Agriculture, a non-profit group unifying a variety of animal agriculture groups, will hold a national forum focused on antibiotics in October.

“The use of antibiotics in the production of food animals elicits polarizing opinions across the media today as consumers become more aware and interested in the way their food is produced,” said NIAA in an announcement. “While livestock producers have realized that significant animal illness can be avoided by the use of antibiotics, consumers are being told that any use of antibiotics leads to a lower effectiveness of antibiotics in humans.”

Antibiotic resistance as a public health concern tied to food animal production was again highlighted last month with the 36 million pound ground turkey recall for multi-drug resistant Salmonella.

NIAA notes that though there have been debates and discussions on this issue, the national forum will broaden the conversation with experts in animal agriculture, researchers in the area of livestock health, and experts in human health.

“There is significant confusion regarding the use and potential effects of the use of antibiotics in food animal production,” states Dr. Leonard Bull, past NIAA chairman and leader of the forum planning committee. “This dialogue will provide the most up-to-date information on the research that has been done on the issue, what the science really means, and what further research may be needed.”

Participants in the forum will have the opportunity to hear from the research leaders and experts and join in the dialogue. “As is the case in all NIAA forums, it is important that members of the audience have the opportunity to ask questions of the panels and participate in the discussion,” says Bull.

The forum, titled Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose, is scheduled to be held at the Hotel InterContinental O’Hare in Chicago, IL Oct. 26-27, 2011. More information is available at

  • Raul Vergara

    A very interesting topic, that I consider is highly relevant not only for USA, but for the different countris.
    There is a very high health problem associated with this issue, due to the increase of microorganisms resistance to the available antibiotics
    Raul Vergara
    Quafsi Chile Services

  • federal microbiologist

    This meeting / conference is basically an effort by the agrochemical industry to broadcast its opposition to federal initiatives to reduce the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal feed.
    The NIAA masquerades as a grass-roots advocacy organization when in fact it is a front group for corporate entities. In this sense it’s no different from the myriad shell organizations created by DC lawyer Ricky Berman and Peabody Conservatory graduate David Martosko for corporate clients eager to combat negative publicity.
    Selling bulk quantities of tetracycline and other compounds for purposes of ‘animal health’, as opposed to treating actual bacterial infections, is a major source of revenue for the agrochemical industry. So it has assembled a team of ‘experts ‘ who will expound on ‘science-based’ reasons to continue dumping antibiotics into animal feed.
    Evidence that doing so is creating widespread resistance to mainline antibiotics among pathogenic bacteria is going to be labeled as a symptom of a ‘disconnect’ or ‘confusion’ peculiar to the ignorant public and associated anti-science zealots, as contrasted to the conscientious, science-driven practitioners of ‘modern’ agriculture who are possessed of a deep concern for ‘animal health and well-being’.
    The speaker roster for the Forum reads as a ‘Who’s Who’ of veterinarians and animal scientists who have received financial compensation –as grants, consultants fees, honoraria, etc. – from the agrochemical industry, and as a consequence are best regarded as paid pitchmen rather than objective and unbiased researchers.
    Here’s a telling quote from NIAA luminary Leonard Bull, an animal scientist at North Carolina State University and dedicated proponent of industrial animal production:
    “While many of the allegations against the swine industry are unfounded, especially in the last half decade, the perceptions are well-entrenched in the regulatory mindset. There will continue to be a ‘not in my backyard’ attitude in developed countries against CAFOs of all kinds, swine systems in particular.”
    If you’re going to the NIAA ‘dialogue’ in October, here’s a fun suggestion: ask the speakers if they have a Disclosure Statement among their Powerpoints. See how many took care to create one…my guess is it will be very few, if any…..
    [Of course, our Favorite Comments Troll soon will be checking in with an angry rejoinder…. !]