As access to information continues to evolve, so do consumer perceptions of animal agriculture. Today, industry leaders are seeing increased questions from consumers regarding antimicrobial resistance in livestock. Dr. Justin Welsh of Merck Animal Health is part of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s One Health initiative to address resistance in both animal and human health. He says while the concern regarding antibiotics use is growing, the full picture helps keep the issue in perspective.
In fact, surveillance programs have been in place for years. Agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine work together to monitor bacteria and resistance trends in the environment and in food.
Welsh says most of the research looks at foodborne pathogens like salmonella, campylobacter (ˈkam-pə-lō-ˌbak-tər) and E.coli, measuring any changes in resistance to drugs that are medically important to humans.