USA, Des Moines The National Pork Board applauds the White House action plan for combatting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Pork Checkoff, which is funded directly by America’s 62,000 pig farmers, could expand its existing research to address this growing consumer issue if the additional commitment of $1.2 bn. is realised.
The U.S. pork industry has previously funded studies conducted in support of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) – a collaborative effort focused on improving animal and public health. Previous NARMS research has studied the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance. Minimising resistance is a long-standing priority of the Checkoff’s producer, public health and workplace safety programs.
Additionally, the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program conducts on-farm assessments and provides guidance on best practices. PQA Plus participation includes mandatory veterinary oversight and compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements to maintain current medical records on the farm.
The National Pork Board also shares its information and research with U.S. retailers and foodservice companies. Through this collaboration, the Checkoff underscores the safeguards already in place for antibiotic use in pork production and helps prepare these companies to provide information to inquiring consumers.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management.