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Challenges to Changing Antibiotic Use in Food Animal Production: Economics, Data and Policy

Challenges to changing antibiotic use in food animal production, and the associated economics, data and policy issues, will be the focus of a workshop Sept. 6-7, 2018, at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. This workshop is a collaboration of Farm Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS). A  tentative agenda is available. 

In the last two years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented new restrictions on how antibiotics can be used in livestock production. At the same time, private companies and producers have been carefully considering when and how antibiotics are used in order to comply with these restrictions, and satisfy consumer demand for product raised with few or no antibiotics.

This rapidly-changing landscape has sparked discussion about how to incentivize the development of new animal pharmaceutical products that support a One Health agenda without compromising animal health. Often lacking is information about the economic costs and benefits of such initiatives.

One challenge to such research is data collection on sales and use of antibiotic in food animal production. In order to be able to make good policy and management decisions, public and private decision makers can benefit from information on the volume of antibiotics used, the costs of reducing antibiotic use, and the demand for products produced with fewer antibiotics.  Obstacles to data collection include confidentiality, costs and defining appropriate metrics.

The workshop is targeted to academics, federal analysts, policy makers, non-profit representatives and industry stakeholders.

The program for the Sept. 6-7 workshop will include presentation of new research on the economic aspects of changing antibiotic use on U.S. farms, as well as information on collection of data on the sale and use of antibiotics in U.S. food animal production. Other topics to be addressed include:

  • Changes in costs, practices and structures in the U.S. livestock sector and associated industries due to recent FDA policy changes on antibiotic use in food animal production.
  • Consumer demand for products raised without antibiotics, and associated price premiums.
  • The challenges of supplying U.S. beef raised with fewer antibiotics.
  • Potential applicability of  incentive mechanisms used in human pharma to animal pharma.
  •  Description and analysis of ongoing efforts to collect data on antibiotic use in U.S. food animal production. 
There is no charge to participate in this workshop, however, registration is required.  Registration can be completed HERE and must be made by Aug. 30.




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