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May 27, 2014

Why Transatlantic Trade Must Play a Role in Addressing Antibiotic Resistance

Capitol Hill Briefing, Held in Cooperation with the Office of Rep. Louise Slaughter, Convenes Leading International Public Health and Trade Experts to Examine the Role of Antibiotic Resistance in Animal Agriculture and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’s Potential to Protect Public Health.

 The development of superbugs—strains of bacteria that are resistant to several types of antibiotics—is one of the fastest growing and most significant public health threats in the U.S. and abroad. A recent report from the World Health Organization suggests antibiotic resistance has essentially reached every region of the world. According to research led by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, antibiotic use in food animal production plays a significant role in the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In the U.S., 80 percent of antibiotics sold are used in food animal production. Despite decades of scientific evidence linking such use to antibiotic resistance, little has been done to reduce the use of antibiotics in U.S. animal agriculture. While the European Union maintains tougher standards, current inconsistencies are cause for great concern during Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations. The T-TIP aims to harmonize regulations between the two markets and remove non-tariff barriers to trade. Experts suggest, if not properly addressed, the negotiations could lower European Union antibiotic use standards simply to facilitate trade with the US--putting both sides of the Atlantic at risk.      

WHAT:

Leading public health researchers and trade experts will convene in Washington to address the spread of antibiotic resistance, the role of food animal production and the consequences of using the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to weaken existing standards to facilitate trade.

WHEN:   

Friday, May 30, 2014
9:30-10:30 AM           

WHERE:           

Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20515

WHO:    

Held in cooperation with the office of Rep. Louise Slaughter and moderated by Bob Martin, Director, Food System Policy from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, the briefing features three prominent experts:

Lance Price, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Dr. Price is among the foremost experts on antibiotic resistance in the United States and is a former Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future-Lerner Fellow.

Jørgen Schlundt, DVM, PhD, is Institute Director at the National Food Institute of the Technical University of Denmark, the country that has done more than any other to restrict antibiotic use in food animal production. The National Food Institute is one of the world’s leading centers for research on antibiotic resistance. Previously, Dr. Schlundt was Director of the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses at the World Health Organization in Geneva from 1999 to 2010.

Karen Hansen-Kuhn, MA is Director, International Strategies at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and a leading analyst of the connections between U.S. trade and agriculture policies.

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Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future media contact: Natalie Wood-Wright at 443-287-2771 or nwoodwr1@jhu.edu.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health media contact: Barbara Benham at 410-614-6029 or bbenham1@jhu.edu.