The World Health Organization urged farmers on Tuesday to stop using antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals because the practice fuels dangerous drug-resistant superbug infections in people.
Describing a lack of effective antibiotics for humans as “a security threat” on a par with “a sudden and deadly disease outbreak”, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “strong and sustained action across all sectors” was vital to turn back the tide of resistance and “keep the world safe”.
The WHO “strongly recommends an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis,” the United Nations agency said in a statement.
The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association urged members of Congress to insist that the United States request a more thorough analysis of a World Health Organization (WHO) proposal seeking to discourage parents from feeding toddlers milk and certain dairy products.
At the beginning of the year, the WHO issued “Ending Inappropriate Marketing of Foods for Infants and Young Children,” a guidance document urging the prohibition of the promotion and marketing of various milk products for children up to age three.
“The WHO guidance document is a de facto criticism of all milk consumption by toddlers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “This flies in the face of all credible, international nutrition research, and would confuse consumers across the globe.”