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Articles from 2013 In April

Senators seek WTO challenge on European ethanol duties

Fourteen Democratic and Republican senators have joined together to sign a letter to the Acting United States Trade Representative (USTR), Demetrios Manatos and Acting Secretary of Commerce, Rebecca Blank, calling on them to review and consider a World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge to the European Union’s anti-dumping duty recently imposed on U.S. ethanol producers. 

The letter was co-authored by Sens. John Thune (R., S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), and cosponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Al Franken (D., Minn.), Mike Johanns (R., Neb.), Heidi Heitkamp (D, N.D.), Deb Fischer (R, Neb.), Tim Johnson (S., S.D.), John Hoeven (R., N.D.), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), Pat Roberts (R., Kan.), Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) and Roy Blunt (R, Mo.).  

“The EU Commission failed to make any particular finding of dumping by any producer or marketer investigated in connection with the case. If allowed to stand, this rule would set a dangerous precedent for trade and trade remedies in advance of important trade talks between the U.S. and the EU, and furthermore will dramatically change the boundaries and limits of international anti-dumping law," Bob Dinneen, President and chief executive officer of the Renewable Fuels Assn., and Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said in a joint statement.  

Iowa State seeks livestock producers' input for ethanol coproducts survey

Iowa State University is conducting a nationwide survey of livestock producers' use of feed-related co-products from ethanol production.

"The feedback gained from the survey will be used to help improve co-product quality, which can help livestock producers with their feed costs and livestock performance," said Kurt Rosentrater, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State who is leading the effort.

The survey is focused on the beef, dairy, swine and poultry sectors. It is being funded by a coalition consisting of the Renewable Fuels Assn., the Distillers Grains Technology Council and the Corn Utilization Councils from Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.

Livestock producers are invited to take the survey online until June 19 at http://humansciences.ethanolcoproducts.sgizmo.com/s3/.

GMO label law to go to Washington voters

A ballot initiative that would require all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled will go to voters in Washington state this fall.

The initiative, to be listed as Initiative-522 (I-522), had been presented to lawmakers in the state in the form of a petition (Feedstuffs, Oct. 15, 2012) but now will go to voters because lawmakers did not act on the petition by April 28, the date that the legislative session ended.

GMO labeling would be required on all foods, including cereal and raw foods such as corn and other vegetables and does not make an exception for "natural" foods. (Organic foods are not permitted to contain GMOs by federal regulation.)

The initiative also includes a private enforcement provision that would allow citizens to sue for enforcement if state officials do not take action within 60 days on violations reported to them.

The petition was carried to the legislature by Chris and Leah McManus, who own an advertising firm in Tacoma, Wash., and say they consume only an organic, vegan diet, after legislators did not act on a GMO labeling law in their previous session.

It was supported by PCC Markets, a Seattle, Wash.-based cooperative that merchandises natural and organic foods and that collected signatures in its nine stores in the Puget Sound.

Meanwhile, similar legislation has cleared committee in the Connecticut House of Representatives and would cover foods made from crops that are genetically modified.

The bill contains a provision that, if passed by the Connecticut legislature, it would not become effective until two additional northeastern states pass their own GMO labeling laws.

GMO legislation is being pursued in Vermont, New Mexico and Oregon, but a ballot initiative in California last year calling for GMO labels was defeated by voters on a 53-47% vote (Feedstuffs, Nov. 12, 2012).

Supporters of the Connecticut and Washington measures say they are not trying to ban GMOs but only to give people the right to know if their foods contain GMOs.

Opponents cite positions taken by the Food & Drug Administration, American Medical Assn., National Academy of Sciences and World Health Organization that foods produced with GMOs are not materially different than foods produced conventionally and are safe.

They also caution that food prices would increase if GMO labels were required because of the costs that would be involved relabeling foods for particular states with GMO label laws.

National Turkey Federation refutes alarmist 'study' on ground turkey

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) says it strongly disputes the misleading findings of a Consumer Reports article about ground turkey, which makes a number of alarming claims based on an extremely small sampling of ground turkey products.

"Consumer Reports had the opportunity to foster a serious, thoughtful discussion about food safety, but instead it chose to sensationalize findings and mislead people," said NTF President Joel Brandenberger.

NTF refuted numerous misleading claims, and challenges the methodology in the report, from which essentially all the "findings" are obtained. To help better educate consumers about ground turkey, here are some important facts:

  • The magazine reported high levels of certain pathogens on the samples tested, but it is important to note that the two most prevalent, Enterococcus and generic E.coli, are not considered sources of foodborne illness.
  • By contrast, for the two pathogens of public health concern—Campylobacter and Salmonella—the magazine found almost no prevalence (5 percent for Salmonella and zero Campylobacter).  This is borne out by more extensive government testing, which finds almost 90 percent of all ground turkey and 97 percent of whole turkeys are Salmonella-free.  While the turkey industry strives to control all bacteria on its products, it focuses primarily on those bacteria that present the greatest threat to human health.
  • The article is misleading about the significance of its antibiotic findings.  One of the antibiotics for which it tested (ciprofloxacin) has not been used in poultry production for almost eight years, meaning resistance is highly unlikely to be from farm-animal use, and two other drug classes (penicillin and cephalosporin) are used infrequently in animal agriculture.  The fourth drug class tested by Consumer Reports, tetracycline, is used in animal agriculture, but is a largely insignificant antibiotic in human medicine, comprising only four percent of all antibiotics prescribed by physicians.
  • The article stated three samples contained methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureas (MRSA).  Understandably, this is cause for concern, but the article fails to put MRSA and E.coli in context.  These bacteria are ubiquitous in the environment, and are even present on our hands and in our bodies.  

NTF Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Lisa Picard, said, "Enterococcus and generic E.coli are everywhere, and there is more than one way they can wind up on food animals. In fact, it's so common in the environment, studies have shown that generic E.coli and MRSA can even be found on about 20 percent of computer keyboards."

NTF noted the last week's statement of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates antibiotic use in animals, "We believe that is inaccurate and alarmist to define bacteria resistant to one, or even a few, antimicrobials as 'superbugs' if these same bacteria are still treatable by other commonly used antibiotics. This is especially misleading when speaking of bacteria that do not cause foodborne disease and have natural resistances, such as Enterococcus."  

The magazine's parent company believes the FDA should ban all antibiotics in animal production except to treat illness, to which Picard said, "Animals, just like people, sometimes get sick. The turkey industry judiciously uses antibiotics under strict guidelines set by federal law to restore health, and to treat and control disease. This makes good sense for the turkey's health and lowers production costs, something very important to budget-conscious consumers. Proper animal health practices are an important reason the U.S. food supply is one of the highest quality, safest, and most affordable in the world."

NTF is the national advocate for all segments of the $29.5 billion turkey industry. 

Pig stress syndrome linked to gene defect

A defect in a gene called dystrophin is the cause of a newly discovered stress syndrome in pigs, according to researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Stress-related issues like transportation cost the U.S. swine industry an estimated $50 million a year. Producers and researchers have long suspected that undetected stress-related syndromes are affecting the health and well-being of pigs.

USDA said this notion was confirmed when scientists at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center, Neb., discovered a stress syndrome in two 3-month-old male siblings that died after being transported from one facility to another. The novel syndrome is different than the classical porcine stress syndrome, which was eliminated from U.S. swine herds years ago.

Molecular biologist Dan Nonneman and his colleagues in the USMARC Reproduction Research Unit mapped the stress disorder to a genetic mutation in dystrophin. Mutations in dystrophin, which cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy, are associated with muscle weakness that can lead to death, USDA said.

To map the disease, scientists re-mated the original parents of the affected siblings to produce additional litters. The 250 offspring, which included 49 affected piglets, were genotyped, and one chromosomal region containing the dystrophin gene was associated with the syndrome, USDA said.

Piglets affected by the syndrome had an abnormal heart rate when treated with an anesthesia and monitored. The heart rate of unaffected pigs undergoing the same treatments remained steady. Animals with the stress condition had half as much dystrophin protein as their unaffected siblings. Pigs suspected of having the syndrome also had three times as much creatine phosphokinase, an enzyme used to monitor heart and muscle diseases.

USDA reported that the gene is located on the X chromosome, and the syndrome is found primarily in males that inherit the affected X chromosome from their mother. Animals seem more susceptible at two months of age, a time when piglets are transported from nursery to grower facilities.

Egg housing legislation introduced in House, Senate

Legislation has been introduced simultaneously in the U.S. House and Senate to establish a national standard for hen housing for the egg industry.

The legislation was introduced April 25 and would codify an agreement between The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and United Egg Producers (UEP) that would transition the U.S. egg industry from conventional cage housing for layers to enriched colony cage housing by the end of 2029.

The agreement was negotiated two years ago (Feedstuffs, July 11, 2011) and represents a significant compromise between HSUS, which has historically insisted on cage-free housing for hens, and UEP, which has sought to merge animal welfare with economic realities.

Implementation would continue cage-type confined housing to contain costs of production for producers and egg prices to consumers but would provide hens with twice as much space as in conventional cages and with "enrichments" such as nests, perches and scratching pads to allow them to express more natural behaviors.

It would also address a labyrinth of state ballot initiatives that require one kind of housing in one state and a different kind of housing in another state that would disrupt egg marketing across the nation.

The legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D., Ore.) and in the Senate by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Cal.), with bipartisan support in both chambers. Schrader and Feinstein introduced similar legislation last year, but it died in the previous Congress.

The HSUS-UEP agreement is opposed by a number of agricultural groups, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Assn. and National Pork Producers Council, which believe the congressional mandate would establish precedent for Congress to impose housing standards on other sectors.

However, it's supported by a number of animal activist and egg industry organizations and by the American Veterinary Medical Assn. It also has substantial consumer support, based on HSUS surveys.

Sterilized dogs may live longer

Sterilized dogs may live longer

MANY dog owners have their pets spayed or neutered to help control the overall pet population, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests that the procedure could add to the length of the animals' lives and alter the risk of specific causes of death.

Looking at a sample of 40,139 death records in the Veterinary Medical Database from 1984 to 2004, the researchers determined that the average age at death for intact dogs -- dogs that had not been spayed or neutered -- was 7.9 years versus 9.4 years for sterilized dogs. The results of the study were published April 17 in PLOS ONE.

"There is a long tradition of research into the cost of reproduction, and what has been shown across species is if you reproduce, you don't live as long," said Dr. Kate Creevy, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine. "The question that raises is, Why would you die younger if you have offspring?"

Historically, studies on how reproduction affects life span have been done in model systems like mice, nematode worms and fruit flies, where it is difficult to figure out the eventual cause of death. For the first time, researchers have been able to measure costs of reproduction in terms of the actual causes of death and found that the causes of death differed between sterilized and intact dogs, the announcement said.

Dogs that had undergone a gonadectomy (a spay or castration) were more likely to die from cancer or autoimmune diseases. However, those in the sample that still had functional reproduction systems at death were more likely to die from infectious disease and trauma, the Georgia researchers reported.

"Intact dogs are still dying from cancer; it is just a more common cause of death for those that are sterilized," said Jessica Hoffman, a University of Georgia doctoral candidate in the Franklin College of Arts of Sciences who co-authored the study.

Creevy added, "At the level of the individual dog owner, our study tells pet owners that, overall, sterilized dogs will live longer, which is good to know. Also, if you are going to sterilize your dog, you should be aware of possible risks of immune-mediated diseases and cancer. If you are going to keep him or her intact, you need to keep your eye out for trauma and infection."

She said some of the reproductive hormones, particularly progesterone and testosterone, could suppress the immune system, explaining why there is an increased risk of infection among dogs that have been sterilized.

The researchers noted that the average life span seen in their study is likely lower than what would be observed in the population of dogs at large. The dogs in the study had been referred to a veterinary teaching hospital and represent a population of sick animals.

"The overall average life span is likely shorter than what we would observe in private practice because these were dogs seen at teaching hospitals, but the difference in life span between sterilized and intact (animals) is real," Creevy said. "The proportionate effects on causes of death are translatable to the global dog population, and it will be interesting to see if explanations for these effects can be found in future studies."

Volume:85 Issue:16

Plan won't significantly drive up egg prices

Plan won't significantly drive up egg prices

CONTRARY to claims, an egg industry transition from conventional cage housing to enriched colony cage housing will not drive up egg prices to consumers, according to an analysis by Tom Earley.

In current currency, the transition will increase prices 1.5 cents/doz. over the 16-year conversion period and 6 cents/doz. -- a half-penny per egg -- once the conversion is completed in 2030, Earley found.

Earley, who is with Agralytica in Alexander, Va., based his analysis on a baseline scenario that does not include an industry-wide transition and on another scenario that does involve an industry-wide transition.

He conducted the analysis for the United Egg Producers (UEP), which represents the U.S. egg industry.

The transition would occur through implementation of an agreement between The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and UEP that the two organizations struck two years ago (Feedstuffs, July 11, 2011).

It would occur through legislation that would amend the Egg Products Inspection Act of 1970 to require egg producers to house their hens in enriched colonies by the end of 2029.

The legislation is expected to be introduced in Congress soon.

Colonies are cage housing systems but are considerably larger than conventional cages, allowing birds far more space than conventional cages and providing them with "enrichments" such as nests, perches and scratching pads so hens can express more natural behaviors.

The HSUS-UEP agreement also calls for a number of environmental, health, nutrition and other management practices.

The transition includes phase-in periods and would become fully implemented at the end of 2029.

The agreement does not apply to niche production systems such as cage-free, free-range and organic production.

However, the beef and pork industries -- and factions within the poultry industry -- are opposed to the legislation based on the belief that it would set a precedent for Congress to regulate housing practices for other livestock and poultry. Their opposition is so strong that one of their claims is that construction of and production in colonies would increase industry costs so much that consumer-level egg prices would increase significantly.

Earley's analysis found otherwise.


Costs, prices

Earley broke out his analysis into three categories: capital investment, production costs and consumer prices.

As for capital investment, he said the additional space provided for hens would mean that the existing number of hen houses would be insufficient to maintain a national flock of the size it is now.

Although many houses could be renovated, there would also be a need for "a great deal" of new construction, he said.

In talks with equipment companies and egg producers, Earley estimated that the cost for colonies would be $24 per bird in new construction and $20 in renovations plus $1 per bird for the appropriate enrichments.

He compared this with his baseline scenario in which most of the industry would replace worn-out conventional housing with new conventional housing.

He determined that the additional capital investment needed over the transition period to make the conversion would average $145 million more per year, i.e., capital needs would increase from $3.1 billion that would be invested in the baseline scenario to $5.7 billion in the transition -- an increase of $2.6 billion.

Earley noted that his calculations are based on 2012 dollars.

As for production costs, Earley said he looked at data from Europe, where colony systems are more evolved, and also from California, where some investment in colonies already has been made.

He said the data indicate that costs of production in colony systems are 12.5% higher than in conventional housing, which includes higher feed and labor costs. Accordingly, he determined that eggs produced in conventional housing would cost 72.7 cents/doz. to produce, while eggs in colony systems would cost 81.9 cents/doz. to produce -- three-quarters of a cent, or 12.7%, more per egg.

As for consumer prices, Earley noted that the agreement establishes a gradual transition from conventional housing to colony systems and also requires -- one year after enactment of the legislation -- eggs to be labeled as to their system of origin, i.e., eggs from hens in cages or enriched colonies or eggs from cage-free or free-range hens.

Accordingly, he said higher consumer prices will result over the transition period. Eggs from caged hens will be the cheapest and will remain the cheapest during the transition, reflecting what will be lower production costs, and eggs from colonies -- once egg producers start to build colonies -- will be a bit more expensive, reflecting higher production costs.

Cage-free and free-range eggs will continue to sell at premiums to the market.

Earley drew the conclusion that most of the impact of the 9.2-cent increase in production costs (from 72.7 cents to 81.9 cents/doz.) won't occur until well into the 2020s and will average about 1.0%, or 1.5 cents/doz. -- a quarter-cent per egg -- during the 16-year transition period.

By 2030, consumer prices will reflect the entire 9.2-cent increase, he said.

However, egg prices will also increase in the baseline scenario because, without a legislative mandate, it's expected that 34% of eggs still will be produced in enriched, higher-cost systems, Earley said. Therefore, he penciled consumer prices to be 6.1 cents/doz. higher in 2030 if the HSUS-UEP agreement is in place than if it isn't.

Earley's investment and other calculations are shown in the Tables.

Earley noted that customer and consumer demand tends to change over time, and baseline prices may actually be higher in 2030 than assumed in the analysis because demand may increase for higher-priced specialty eggs such as enriched, cage-free, natural or organic eggs.

Also, foodservice and retail customers could opt to expand margins on their egg sales by raising their egg prices, he said.

Accordingly, Earley said consumer prices could increase as much as or more than they would with the HSUS-UEP agreement in place.


1. Investment needed to implement transition to enriched colony housing


Space per



New construction,

Land, roads,


bird, sq. in.





Conventional cage housing






Enriched colony housing






Cage-free housing






*Enrichments added 10-15 years after renovation or new construction.

**For new construction on new site.

***For white layers.

Note: Estimates are for 250,000 layer houses and are in 2012 dollars.


2. Average farm- and retail-level (consumer) egg prices









Baseline farm




Baseline retail




Transition farm




Transition retail




Difference farm




Difference retail




Source for Tables: Tom Earley, Agralytica Consulting.


Volume:85 Issue:17

Horse lineages traced

Horse lineages traced

THE analysis of DNA inherited from a single parent has provided valuable insights into the history of human and animal populations. However, until recently, there was insufficient information to be able to investigate the paternal lines of the domesticated horse.

Now, Barbara Wallner and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine-Vienna (Vetmeduni-Vienna) in Austria have published information on the genetic variability in the Y chromosome of the horse and show how various breeds of the modern horse are interrelated.

In mammals, sex is determined by the chromosomes an individual inherits from its parents. Two X chromosomes create a female, whereas one X and one Y create a male. Y chromosomes are only passed from fathers to sons, so each Y chromosome represents the male genealogy of the animal in question, an announcement from Vetmeduni-Vienna explained. In contrast, mothers pass on mitochondria to all their offspring. This means that an analysis of the genetic material or DNA of mitochondria can provide information on the female ancestry.

For the modern horse, it is known that mitochondrial DNA is extremely diverse, and this has been interpreted to mean that many ancestral female horses have passed their DNA on to modern horse breeds.

Until recently, though, essentially no sequence diversity had been detected on the Y chromosome of the domesticated horse. Not only does the lack of sequence markers on the Y chromosome make it difficult to trace male lineages with confidence, but it also represents a scientific paradox. How can a species with so many female lines have so few male lines?

Wallner and colleagues at the Vetmeduni-Vienna Institute of Animal Breeding & Genetics initially selected 17 horses from a range of European breeds, pooled their DNA and used modern sequencing technology to examine the level of diversity on a 200-kilobase portion of the Y chromosome Wallner had previously sequenced. The Y chromosomes were found to be highly similar: Only five positions turned out to be variable.

"The results confirmed what we had previously suspected: that the Y chromosomes of modern breeds of horses show far less variability than those of other (domesticated) animals," Wallner said.

The five variable positions, or polymorphisms, nevertheless were sufficient to enable the researchers to derive a type of "family tree" for the various breeds of modern horses that then could be investigated.

The announcement reported that an examination of more than 600 stallions from 58 (largely European) breeds showed that the animals could be grouped into six basic lines, or haplotypes, including:

* The ancestral haplotype that is distributed across almost all breeds and geographical regions;

* A second haplotype that occurs at high frequencies across a broad range of breeds, although not in Northern European breeds or in horses from the Iberian Peninsula;

* A third haplotype that is present in almost all English Thoroughbreds and in many warm-blooded breeds, and

* Three haplotypes that are found only in local Northern European breeds: one in Icelandic horses, one in Norwegian Fjord horses and one in Shetland ponies.

The pedigree of horses is very tightly controlled, with studbooks, in many cases, going as far back as the 18th century. Combining the results of the genetic analysis with pedigree data enabled the scientists to trace the paternal roots of many of the current male lines.

"The results were intriguing, for example, in the way the distribution of one haplotype reflects the widespread movement of stallions from the Middle East to Central and Western Europe in the past 200 years," Wallner noted. "Another haplotype results from a mutation that occurred in the famous English Thoroughbred stallion 'Eclipse' or in his son or grandson. It is amazing to see how much influence this line has had on modern sport horses: Almost all English Thoroughbreds and nearly half the modern sport horse breeds carry the Eclipse haplotype."

The Vetmeduni-Vienna researchers confirmed the low diversity of the horse's Y chromosome, which contrasts sharply with range of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes observed in modern horses, the announcement said. The difference is presumably due to the strong variation in male reproductive success. Wild horses have a polygynous breeding pattern (one stallion with multiple mares), while the intensive breeding practices used in domesticated horses mean that single stallions can effectively pass on their DNA to entire generations.

The senior author on the paper, Gottfried Brem, said, "Most modern breeds were established in the last two centuries, during which time the horse has undergone a transition from working and military use towards leisure and sports. This has largely been achieved through the use, in breeding, of a few selected males. The restricted genetic diversity of the modern horse Y chromosome is a reflection of what has survived the species' dynamic history."

The paper, "Identification of Genetic Variation on the Horse Y Chromosome & the Tracing of Male Founder Lineages in Modern Breeds," by Wallner, Claus Vogl, Priyank Shukla, Joerg P. Burgstaller, Thomas Druml and Brem, was recently published in the online PLOS ONE.

Volume:85 Issue:17

FDA: Antibiotic resistance data require context

FDA: Antibiotic resistance data require context

THE Food & Drug Administration issued a statement of caution April 22 regarding the interpretation of antimicrobial resistance data.

The FDA statement came on the heels of a recent Environmental Working Group (EWG) report of its interpretation of the "2011 Retail Meat Annual Report" of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS).

While FDA said it is always concerned about antimicrobial resistance, the agency believes the EWG report oversimplifies the NARMS data and provides misleading conclusions. FDA said it does not believe that EWG fully considered important factors that put these results into context, including:

* Whether the bacterium is a foodborne pathogen. The report highlights resistance to enterococcus, but this is not considered a foodborne pathogen. Instead, FDA includes it because its behavior is helpful in understanding how resistance occurs.

* Which drug(s) the bacterium is naturally resistant to. For example, most Enterococcus faecalis is naturally resistant to the antibiotic class of lincosamides. Because this resistance is known and expected, FDA is not as concerned with resistance in this species as it would be with resistance in true pathogens like salmonella and campylobacter.

* Why NARMS includes certain drugs in its testing design. Some antibiotics are included for epidemiology purposes -- to track the spread of certain bacteria or genes -- but resistance to them doesn't reflect a danger to public health.

* Whether the antibiotics commonly used to treat patients are still effective. NARMS data indicate that first-line treatments for all four bacteria that are tracked (salmonella, enterococcus, Escherichia coli and campylobacter) are still effective.

* What the 2011 data indicate relative to similar data reported for prior years.

Additionally, FDA said it believes it is inaccurate and alarmist to define bacteria that are resistant to one or a few antimicrobials as "superbugs" if these same bacteria are still treatable by other commonly used antibiotics. This is especially misleading when speaking of bacteria that do not cause foodborne disease and have natural resistances, such as enterococcus.

When taking such factors into account, FDA said it believes the notable findings in the 2011 NARMS report include:

* In the critically important class of fluoroquinolone antimicrobials, the 2011 data showed no fluoroquinolone resistance in salmonella from any source. This is the drug of choice for treating adults with salmonella.

* Fluoroquinolone resistance in campylobacter has stopped increasing and has remained essentially unchanged since FDA withdrew the use of this drug class in poultry in 2005. Trimethoprim-sulfonamide is another drug used to treat salmonella infections, and resistance remains low (at 0-3.7%).

* Macrolide antibiotic resistance in retail chicken isolates remains low, with 2011 results at 0.5% of Campylobacter jejuni and 4.3% of Campylobacter coli. The macrolide antibiotic erythromycin is the drug of choice for treating campylobacter infections.

* Multi-drug resistance is rare in campylobacter. Only nine out of 634 campylobacter isolates from poultry were resistant to three or more antimicrobial classes in 2011. However, gentamicin resistance in C. coli markedly increased from 0.7% in 2007 (when it first appeared in the NARMS retail meat report) to 18.1% in 2011. Gentamicin has been suggested as a possible second-line therapy for campylobacter infections, although it is not commonly used.

* Between 2002 and 2011, resistance to third-generation cephalosporins, which are used to treat salmonellosis, has increased in salmonella from chicken (from 10.0% to 33.5%) and turkey (from 8.1% to 22.4%) meats. FDA noted this development in previous years and has already taken action by prohibiting certain extra-label uses of cephalosporins in cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys and continues to closely monitor resistance to these drugs.

FDA reiterated that antimicrobial resistance is a serious and challenging issue and noted that it is critically important to continue efforts to minimize antimicrobial resistance, including promoting appropriate and judicious use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals.

More details on FDA's statement can be found online at www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm348794.htm?source=govdelivery.

In response to FDA's statement, the Animal Health Institute said, "The Animal Health Institute applauds FDA for setting the record straight with regard to EWG's report conclusions and further underscoring the importance of providing consumers with factual and accurate information. ... Antimicrobial resistance is a challenging issue and one our industry takes seriously. We work to ensure that veterinarians and farmers use antibiotics responsibly to keep animals healthy while protecting public health."

Volume:85 Issue:17