12-06-16 National Pork Board Releases Statement on Discovery of Antibiotic-Resistant Gene

National Pork Board Releases Statement on Discovery of Antibiotic-Resistant Gene

DES MOINES, IOWA – Dec. 6, 2016 – The National Pork Board today reacted to the recent research paper from the Ohio State University research study detailing the researchers’ discovery of an antibiotic-resistant gene in one farrowing barn.

According to the National Pork Board, an important takeaway from the study is that the U.S. pork supply is safe. The resistant gene identified in the study was not found in a market hog, and there was no threat to food safety.

As experts in swine production, the Pork Checkoff is eager to analyze the initial findings, alongside its authors, and better understand results of this report from this farm. Specifically, resistant gene samples were found in one barn, on one site without any confirmed indication of how the resistant gene got there.

Ohio State University researchers acknowledge that it is unknown how the Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria was introduced to the facility and that it could have been introduced by an outside source. The conclusions drawn without further validation, replication and research demonstrate this issue requires additional study.

The fact that CRE was found in one area of the farm indicates that current internal biosecurity measures are effective. The U.S. pork industry supports efforts to monitor for the occurrence of this type of isolated incident. However, consistent with FDA and Pork Quality Assurance® Plus requirements, Ceftiofur should only be used in the treatment and control of disease with veterinarian oversight and direction.

Pig farmers in many states voluntarily participate in the Ohio State University’s Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases Program. These producers take part in this research to better understand emerging disease issues. The National Pork Board agrees that more studies be performed to validate and attempt to replicate the finding. The National Pork Board looks forward to learning more about ongoing surveillance efforts that protect human and animal health.

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at pork.org.  

Submitted to The BARN by:

Cindy Cunningham
National Pork Board
ccunningham@pork.org
515-223-2600