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Texas A&M Dean To Serve On Task Force Studying Use Of Antibiotics In Production Agriculture

Posted November 07, 2014

COLLEGE STATION, TX, Nov. 7, 2014 — Eleanor M. Green, The Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University has been appointed to a national task force that will advise the federal government on the use of antibiotics in production agriculture.

Jointly announced by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the group will advise the government on a research agenda regarding the use of antibiotics in agriculture and will disseminate information on the issue.

“We recognize antibiotic resistance as a public health challenge and look forward to collaborating with APLU and the federal government on this critical initiative,” said AAVMC Executive Director Andrew T. Maccabe, noting that many of the AAVMC’s member institutions are based at land-grant universities.

The task force will draw upon the expertise of its members to provide advice to the federal government as they develop plans. The task force is comprised of representatives from U.S. agriculture colleges/land grant universities and veterinary colleges as well as key representatives from the production animal agriculture community and the pharmaceutical industry.

The goal of the task force will be to offer advice to the federal government on a research agenda and also help publicly disseminate information on the use of antibiotics in production agriculture.

“Antibiotic resistance is a growing national concern with far reaching implications in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and food safety and security," said Green. "This is a unique opportunity to identify solutions systematically, comprehensively, and innovatively with the goal of positively impacting animal health and human health using a One Health approach that brings together multiple disciplines and entities. This task force does that. I look forward to working with such a diverse group of distinguished scientists, practitioners, and industry representatives to develop recommendations for addressing antibiotic resistance and protect public health. It is an honor to represent the AAVMC, the national organization for academic veterinary medicine, and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, a land grant institution.”

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recently released a report, “Combating Antibiotic Resistance,” discussing several recommendations to address the problem. President Barack Obama also issued an executive order describing the problem as a national security priority and directing a few executive branch departments and agencies to develop a plan of action by February 2015 to address antibiotic resistance and protect public health.

Once policies are established, APLU institutions such as Texas A&M will work to educate producers and the public about the appropriate use of antibiotics in agriculture and veterinary medicine. “This is an important collaborative effort,” said Peter McPherson, president of the APLU, which is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 237 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations. “The task force and its members are well-positioned to advise the Obama administration as they consider strategies to address the judicious use of antibiotics in production agriculture.”

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine.

In addition to Green, the task force members include Lonnie J. King, dean, Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (chair); Robert A. Easter, president, University of Illinois (co-chair); Richard A. Carnevale, vice president of Regulatory, Scientific and International Affairs, Animal Health Institute; Thomas Coon, vice president, dean and director, Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; Ronnie D. Green, IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska vice president; Walter Hill, dean, College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University; Christine Hoang, assistant director, Division of Scientific Activities, American Veterinary Medical Association; Ashley Peterson, vice president of science and technology, National Chicken Council; Willie Reed, dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University; Kathy Simmons, chief veterinarian, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; and Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian, National Pork Producers Council. Officials from key federal agencies are expected to serve as observers and leaders from public universities in Mexico and Canada also will serve as ex officio members.


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Contact Information:

Megan Palsa, PhD
Executive Director Communications, Media and Public Relations
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University
979-421-3121 (c)
979-862-4216 (o)

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