Antibiotic-free food coming thanks to White House effort

On Tuesday, June 2 the Obama administration convened an antibiotic stewardship forum at the White House for combating antibiotic resistance observed among people in the US. The forum brought together key animal and human health constituencies associated with antibiotic stewardship, which involves promotion, development, and implementation of different activities for ensuring responsible use and application of antibiotics.

The event had over 150 retailers, animal and human health stakeholders and food companies as participants. They highlighted their commitment towards implementing changes during the coming five years and thereby slowing down formation of resistant bacteria and preventing resistant infections from spreading.

During the event, Pres. Barack Obama signed a special memorandum that directed all federal agencies and departments to select poultry and meat only after considering whether they have been subject to responsible use of antibiotics. The Presidential Food Service also made a significant announcement; from now on, it will only be serving poultry and meat that have not undergone any hormonal or antibiotic treatment.


Additionally, The White House has said that for successful prevention, detection and eradication of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, participation of private sector in this endeavor is extremely important.

The forum has built on several steps taken by the government for ensuring responsible antibiotic use. These include an executive order issued in September, 2014; the said order prioritizes the federal efforts for combating the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Another significant entity the forum was built on is a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; the report focused on a series of recommendations made for addressing the sudden increase in the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

This year in March, the Administration published a report carrying the list of duties for the federal departments with the aim of improving diagnosis, care and treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections and reducing spreading of all antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The said report was titled as National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

During yesterday’s event, the participating groups discussed about the different plans put forward by the government and decided on efforts they will be making for improving use of antibiotics and preventing rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The discussion on the above mentioned federal plans was not only participated by pharmaceutical and health groups, foundations and nonprofits, representatives of the food retailing and agro sectors also put forward their respective views.

About the author

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin has a background in Electrical Engineering and is passionate about the Internet of Things. He covers how connected devices like smart homes, wearables, and industrial IoT are changing our daily lives. Nitin is also a DIY enthusiast and loves to build IoT gadgets.