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The White House Hosts a Forum on Combating Antibiotic Resistance

The White House hosts a forum on curbing antibiotic resistance with government, business, and agricultural leaders.

Today, the White House hosted a forum on combating drug-resistant bacteria and enhancing good antibiotic stewardship. The gathering today was an effort to engage in a discussion on the dangers of the overuse of antibiotics, and follows the March release of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

At the forum, the White House announced a Presidential Memorandum directing the federal government to buy meat from sources that follow responsible antibiotic use. Separately, it was announced that here at the White House, the Presidential Food Service will only serve meats and poultry that have been raised in accordance with the same responsible-use policies. 

The White House also highlighted several companies' leadership in committing to curb antibiotic use in food production and agriculture.

See what some of these companies are doing to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance:

Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods, Inc., the world’s second-largest marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, has committed to eliminating the use of human antibiotics from its U.S. broiler chicken flocks by September 2017. Tyson Foods also committed to working with their farmers on ways to reduce antibiotics in supply chains for independent cattle, hog, and turkey farms.

Donnie Smith, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tyson Foods, said they came to the White House today to highlight the importance of using antibiotics responsibly. “We believe this is the most responsible approach to balancing global health concerns about antibiotic resistance, animal well-being, and food affordability,” he said.

Panera Bread Co.

Panera Bread has expanded on a long history of providing proteins without antibiotics by expanding their antibiotic-free protein selections to now include roasted turkey, smoked chicken, breakfast sausage, ham, and bacon.

Sara Burnett, the Senior Quality Assurance Manager at Panera, who was representing Panera Bread today at the White House, said that Panera had answered the President’s call to try to eliminate antibiotics in the food supply chain because Panera wanted to help show others that it could be done successfully for multiple species.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Walmart, one of the world’s largest consumers, has committed to asking its own suppliers to limit antimicrobial treatment to animals that are either ill or at risk, as well as requesting that they implement the American Veterinary Medical Association’s standards for the judicious use of antibiotics.

Frank Yiannas, the Vice President for Food Safety and Health at Walmart, said that Walmart had committed to following President Obama on this issue because it was “the right thing to do.” 

And for more information on today’s forum on antibiotic stewardship, click here