National Pork Board Position on Antimicrobial Use in Pork Production: July, 2002

National Pork Board Statements


  • To preserve the availability and effectiveness of antimicrobials, a coordinated and appropriate response to the issue of antimicrobial resistance is necessary.
  • Producers and their veterinarians must have the flexibility to responsibly address animal health and production in a timely, cost-effective manner.
  • Producers continue in their science-based commitment to ensure the safety of pork and to maintain consumer confidence.
  • The National Pork Board and the nation’s pork producers are supportive of educational efforts to ensure that antimicrobial use does not compromise food safety.
  • The National Pork Board supports a rigorous U.S. Food and Drug Administration process that reviews the scientific data, that evaluates product safety and efficacy and that approves antimicrobials for use in animals.
  • If, based on sound science, additional oversight of antimicrobial use and distribution is considered necessary, stakeholders should discuss the best implementation strategies to achieve the desired result.
  • The National Pork Board supports the development of effective and affordable alternatives to the use of antimicrobials for enhancing production. It has charged its Non-Antimicrobial Production Enhancement Working Group to review the knowledge with regard to the efficacy and economy of the use of non-antimicrobial alternatives to enhance production, to identify the confounding variables that must be controlled to scientifically evaluate the success of these products and/or management techniques, to recommend a research agenda to address knowledge gaps, and to develop a plan of action to educate pork producers about these products and/or management techniques.


National Pork Board Position


It is essential to public health and food safety, animal health and well-being, and the environment to maintain the effectiveness and availability of antimicrobials. All decisions affecting the availability of antimicrobials for animal use need to be transparent and based on sound science.


The National Pork Board supports the use of antimicrobials only when they provide demonstrable benefits and urges producers to:

  • take appropriate steps to decrease the need for their application;
  • adhere to judicious use guidelines;
  • assess the benefits and costs of all uses of antimicrobials; and
  • complete the Pork Quality Assurance Program and fully implement into their daily operations the management practices described for responsible use of animal health products.