USDA Efforts to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

September 15, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Larry Granger, DVM, senior leader at the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, explains the efforts that the USDA is taking to combat antibiotic resistance.

Larry Granger, DVM, senior leader at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, explains the efforts that the USDA is taking to combat antibiotic resistance.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Certainly, there are indications that antibiotic use in any setting can lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is a problem, it’s a social problem, one that costs society a lot of money, with infections that are resistant to antibiotic causing increased healthcare costs. So, we look at the overall issue and try to sort these things out, but it’s very difficult to do and the association with antibiotic use in animals and the problem in humans is unclear.

One of the efforts that we have at USDA, especially in agriculture settings, is to examine the use of antibiotics, the indications for use on farms, in farm settings, and to be able then to determine whether resistance that emerges as a result of use is any risk at all to other parts of the human sector, for instance.

The thing of it is, is that there are those [who] say that antibiotic use in any setting is detrimental and that’s what we don’t know.”