This past fall, the NatioNal pork Board aNNouNced a New, Blue- riBBoN paNel oN aNtiBiotics; an outcome of the Pork Checkoff’s tewardship plan first defined in
June 2015. The seven, third-party experts
will provide invaluable experience and
knowledge in antibiotic practices or consumer marketing to the pork industry.
The panel will review antibiotic use on
U. S. pig farms and help guide Pork Checkoff
efforts to prioritize antibiotic research and
producer education. The panel also will
help identify ways to improve current antibiotic practices and offer guidance in how
to enhance antibiotic stewardship.
“The critical role antibiotics play in pig
farming is one of the most misunderstood
facets of food production today,” says John
Johnson, COO of the National Pork Board.
“We thank these leaders
for their assistance and
appreciate their range of
expertise. From rigorous
scientific study to food-
service and retail man-
agement, these experts
will help us continue to
build consumer trust
and confidence in meat
To help facilitate that,
the National Pork Board
has hosted meetings with
its food chain partners,
plan, meetings have been held with ani-
mal health companies, packers, processors,
retailers and foodservice companies.
“We are advancing in antibiotic steward-
ship, but antibiotics remain a vital part of
our ability to address animal welfare and
food safety issues,” says Michael Apley, a
veterinarian and professor in clinical sci-
ences at Kansas State University. “We can
raise some animals without antibiotics, but
Steven Solomon, M.D., a public health
consultant and former director of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
Office of Antimicrobial Resistance, says,
“The science is complicated, but we do
know how to improve the use of antibiot-
ics in both human and animal medicine. We
need to better translate complex informa-
tion about antibiotic use for the benefit of
the food consumer.”
sharing the story
The National Pork Board has defined a
three-point plan of action focused on five
distinct research priorities.
1research—Investing $750,000 in ew research projects that span five
distinct priorities intended to provide data
for animal and public health outcomes (pig
health/welfare, human health/safety, environmental impact and pork quality).
2education—Updating the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus)
farmer certification program in 2016 and
investing up to $400,000 in education and
awareness programs to ensure pig farm-
ers understand and adopt new Food and
Drug Administration rules for the use of
medically important antibiotics (to treat
human illness) in feed and water.
3communications — G a t h e r i n g industry leaders for meetings on
responsible antibiotic use and sharing the
U.S. pork industry’s story of continuous
improvement with producers and consumer media through outreach, byline articles and advertisements.
The intent is to shape educational outreach to pig farmers and broadly share
information with the retail and foodservice
industries and pork consumers.
“We’re focused on sharing our story of
innovation and excellence in pork production,” says National Pork Board president
Derrick Sleezer. “The bottom line is simple:
safe food comes from healthy animals.
Farmers are experts in animal care and
sustainable farming. And that expertise
is needed to maintain our track record of
responsible antibiotic use. Our goal is to
protect the health and well-being of people, pigs and the planet.”
Kevin Waetke is vice president of
strategic communications for the
National Pork Board. He can be
reached at KWaetke@pork.org.
The Blue-Ribbon Panel offers a range
A blue-ribbon panel to help shape U.S. pork industry antibiotic stewardship has been created by the National Pork Board.
By Kevin Waetke
of expertise and consists of:
• Mike apley, d.V. M. and ph.d., food animal
production medicine, Kansas State University
• Bonnie Buntain, d.V. M., coordinator, veterinary
medical and surgical program, University of
• Mike chaddock, d.V. M, associate dean, College
of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University
• chris cochran, senior manager, food
• Jim Mccollum, protein purchasing manager,
Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Inc.
• Justin ransom, senior director, quality systems
U. S., McDonald’s
• steve solomon, M.d., public health consultant
and former director of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention’s office of antimicrobial