The use of antibiotics in the production of food animals elicits polarizing opinions across the media today as consumers become more aware and interested in the way their food is produced. While livestock producers have realized that significant animal illness can be avoided by the use of antibiotics, consumers are being told that any use of antibiotics leads to a lower effectiveness of antibiotics in humans.
Although there have been several debates and discussions on this issue, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is planning a national forum in which experts in animal agriculture, researchers in the area of livestock health, and experts in human health will come together to have a dialogue about the use of antibiotics in the sustainable production of food.
"There is significant confusion regarding the use and potential effects of the use of antibiotics in food animal production," says Dr. Leonard Bull, past NIAA chairman and leader of the forum planning committee. "This dialogue will provide the most up-to-date information on the research that has been done on the issue, what the science really means, and what further research may be needed."
Participants in the forum will have the opportunity to hear from the research leaders and experts and join in the dialogue. "As is the case in all NIAA forums, it is important that members of the audience have the opportunity to ask questions of the panels and participate in the discussion", says Bull.
The forum, titled "Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose," is scheduled to be held Oct. 26-27 at the Hotel InterContinental O'Hare in Chicago. It immediately follows the 2011 Food System Summit, hosted by the Center for Food Integrity, which is being held at the same venue. Registration is open to anyone interested in this important issue. The registration fee is $295, with discounts for early registration and for NIAA members. In addition, a special forum rate for lodging at the InterContinental is available to attendees.
More information is available at www.animalagriculture.org. Individuals are also welcome to call NIAA at (719) 538-8843 for additional information.