United Soybean Board (USB) reports:
More and more consumers are interested in knowing how their food is raised. A popular question is whether they should be concerned about antibiotics in meat. Consumers often question why farmers give antibiotics to livestock and whether the meat, milk and eggs from those animals are safe to consume.
It's important for farmers to speak up and inform consumers on the truth behind today's agriculture. Here are five important facts to help answer that question:
Antibiotics have been around for a while. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry more than 40 years ago.
Healthy animals provide healthy food. Antibiotics are a critical tool to prevent, control and treat disease in animals and reduce the chance of bacterial transmission from animals to humans, according to the Animal Health Institute.
Regulated process ensures safety. A set number of days must pass between the last antibiotic treatment and the animal entering the food supply, to ensure that any medicine has cleared the animal's system, according to FDA and U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations.
Human health is not affected. The use of medicated feeds in food-producing animals is evaluated and regulated to prevent harmful effects on both animal and human health, says Steven Vaughn, D.V.M., director of the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation in FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.
Hear it from the farmer. Watch Joan Ruskamp, a cattle farmer from Dodge, Neb., share her story about antibiotic use in food animals and the responsibility that comes with raising healthy, safe beef. And be sure to share it with your social networks.
To address these questions on an ongoing basis, the United Soybean Board and the National Corn Growers Association developed CommonGround to give farmers, particularly women, the opportunity to engage with their counterparts in cities and suburbs about where our food comes from.