Antibiotics to be debated on Capital Hill

Besides drought, high feed prices, volatile markets, cattlemen will face a new challenge in 2013 with the expiration of the Animal Drug User Fee Act,(known as ADUFA) That is the Food and Drug Administration program is used test all veterinary medicine products, so it can be released. NAIFA is reauthorized every five years. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, National Cattlemens Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says ADUFA will expire this year.

Unfortunately ADUFA becomes a platform for activist organizations to come after the ag industry and deny livestock producers this health tool. When ADUFA is brought to Congress, Woodall says this lobby against antibiotics by spreading false information.

That's far from the reality. Woodall says antibiotics for animals undergo more stringent testing than the antibiotics used in human health. Prior to harvesting an animal for human consumption, producer are required to follow withdrawal requirements. Woodall says that allows all antibiotics to out animal's system before that animal can be turned into beef.

Until this week there has been a lot of attention on the election and on the country going over the fiscal cliff. As the 113th United States Congress is underway in Washington DC, NCBA and other groups will begin lobbying in support of ADUFA. With a democratic controlled Senate and a Republican controlled House Woodall anticipates there will be a lot deadlock.

For the first part of 2013, NCBA will spend a lot of time educating members of Congress on what ADUFA does, why it's needed and the important of getting the bill authorized to keep the nation's livestock healthy. The existing policy wil expire on September 30, 2013.

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