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Meat Institute Participates in White House Antibiotics Event; Responds to Inaccurate Claims About Meat and Poultry

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

NAMI and its Foundation last week joined more than 150 major food companies, retailers and human and animal health stakeholders at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, which discussed efforts to implement changes over the next five years to slow the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, detect resistant strains, preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics and prevent the spread of resistant infections. NAMI Vice President of Scientific Affairs Betsy Booren, Ph.D., attended the forum. Prior to the event, the Meat Institute reaffirmed its strong commitment to combating antibiotic resistance in its ongoing effort to address customer and consumer concerns. NAMI also underscored its support for the development of an antibiotic stewardship program for food animal production systems, and stressed its commitment to work with producer groups, allied stakeholders, pharmaceutical companies and animal health professionals to address concerns related to antimicrobial resistance.

In a second statement issued later that day, the Meat Institute expressed concern regarding an inaccurate phrase in the White House press release that claimed the Presidential Food Service is committing to "serving meats and poultry that have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics." NAMI urged the White House to provide clarification on the statement, noting that livestock and poultry, not meat and poultry products, may be administered antibiotics. The Institute's statement further asserted that hormones are never used in hog and poultry production, and highlighted FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine's role in approving and overseeing the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock and poultry.

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