November 28, 2015

NPPC Statement On Antibiotics

Like others, America’s pork farmers are very concerned about the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the ability of doctors to treat patients. That’s why they have taken steps over the past 30 years to ensure they’re using antibiotics strategically and responsibly to keep animals healthy and to produce safe food. They are embracing a new FDA regulation that’s eliminating the use for promoting animal growth of antibiotics important to human medicine (this addresses a concern of critics of antibiotics use in food-animal production) and that’s requiring the feed and water use of those same antibiotics to be under a veterinary prescription. They also participate in pork industry-developed programs that include responsible antibiotics use and support federal efforts to track antibiotic resistance in foodborne bacteria from humans, retail meats and food animals.

But contrary to critics, such as Consumer Reports, which today published a very misleading article on antibiotics use in food-animal production, pork farmers do not use antibiotics indiscriminately. Furthermore, there is no conclusive scientific evidence linking antibiotics use in food-animal production with antibiotic treatment failures in people. Numerous peer-reviewed risk assessments, including at least one from FDA, have shown a “negligible” risk to human health of antibiotics use in livestock and poultry production. At best, the science on antibiotic resistance is incomplete, and a recent CDC report on the subject focused on overuse of antibiotics in human medicine, mentioning animal use of antibiotics only six times in its 113 pages.

Finally, calls for food-animal farmers to stop using antibiotics to prevent diseases are ill-advised and wrong. Denying pigs, cows and chickens necessary antibiotics would be unethical and immoral, leading to animal suffering and possibly death, and could compromise the nation’s food system.

[For information about antibiotics use in pork production, visit]


TPP Holds Promise for U.S. Meat Exports – #NAFB15

President Obama is embarking on a trade tour through Asia this week. Obama and 11 other Pacific Rim leaders met on Wednesday for the first time since negotiators completed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Obama urged the group to ratify the deal as quickly as possible.

A strong U.S. dollar, weakening foreign economies and stiff competition have made it an uphill climb for U.S. meat exports in retaining market share around the world.

U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Phillip Seng thinks the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will enhance agricultural trade. He was in attendance at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s annual convention and Trade Talk event in Kansas City last week.

Phillip Seng – USMEF

Beef exports were down 13 percent in volume and 10 percent in value year over year in the first nine months of the year and while pork exports held steady in quantity, they were down 16 percent in value, according to USDA statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.



Talking TPP at NAFB with Farm Broadcasters

There’s a press conference scheduled for later today that will explore the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and what it means for American Agriculture.

Representatives from six national farm groups will join USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Phil Karsting in Kansas City at the 72nd annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting to discuss the implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with farm broadcasters.

On the panel will be —

Phil Karsting, Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA

Chip Bowling, President, National Corn Growers Association

Wade Cowan, President, American Soybean Association

John Weber, President-Elect, National Pork Producers Association

Bob McCan, Immediate Past President, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Alan Tiemann, Chairman, U.S. Grains Council

Brett Blankenship, President, National Association of Wheat Growers

We visited on the sideline of the convention with Chase Adams, Director of Communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  He says his organization is happy with what they’ve seen in that deal so far….

Chase Adams NCBA

The American Soybean Association endorses the recently released Trans-Pacific Partnership  agreement, and calls on Congress to take up and approve the agreement as quickly as possible.

“The TPP is a good deal for soybean farmers and our livestock customers. We back it and we will push Congress to do the same,” said ASA President Wade Cowan, a farmer from Brownfield, Texas. “We know that this will further expand our access to valuable markets in Asia and Latin America, but specifically, there are several key sections of the agreement that will move our trade significantly forward. The sanitary and phytosanitary provisions contained in the TPP will help eliminate many of the non-scientific barriers to market entry that hang us up in particular markets, and the biotechnology provisions in the agreement will help to ensure that from export partner to export partner, science is the common framework on which our soybean technology is regulated.”

The TPP, if approved, will eliminate tariffs on soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal in each of the 12 TPP nations within a set timeframe. In Japan, tariffs on soybean oil will be eliminated within six years. In Vietnam, tariffs will be eliminated in 11 years per the agreement, and in Peru the TPP eliminates tariffs my 2018. Immediately, the agreement lifts tariffs for soybeans, meal and oil in New Zealand, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as on soybean meal in Japan.