Soil Association And NFU Clash Over Antibiotic Report

UK - The Soil Association and the NFU have clashed over the findings of a Government report into anti-microbial resistance in humans and farmed animals.
calendar icon 20 July 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The organic body accused the Government of ‘misleading’ the public about the ‘excessive use of antibiotics’ on farms in the report.

But the NFU hit back accusing the Soil Association of ‘scaremongering’ and using selective and outdated data to back its own agenda.

The document has brought together data from Defra, the Department of Health, the Food Standards Agency and other Government agencies to provide the first ‘overarching report’ on bacterial resistance to chemicals and antibiotics in farm animals, humans and food.

It is a response to ‘growing concerns’ that the problem is making it harder to treat disease in humans and animals and that resistant bacteria in animals may transfer to humans via food, creating ‘superbugs’ like MRSA.

One of the most alarming findings was that resistance in humans to vancomycin, the drug used to treat MRSA, in a strain of the bug, Enterococci, was estimated at 13-45 per cent.

But when the same bacteria was tested in pigs, only two out of 223 samples taken were resistant. This, the report said, probably reflected the fact that vancomycin was no longer permitted for use in pigs in the EU for a number of years, along with other antibiotics.

Source: FarmersGuardian
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