Special Lecture: Maryn McKenna, Brandeis University, “Losing the Miracle: The FDA and the Controversy over Livestock Antibiotics”

Date(s) - 07/26/2014
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Lillie Auditorium

The discovery that antibiotics could improve yields in livestock production was made in 1948, at the start of the antibiotic era, and within a decade, the drugs’ administration became routine. By 1969, the first alarms had been raised that antibiotic resistance was moving off farms to undermine the drugs’ usefulness to society, and in 1977, the US Food and Drug Administration proposed withdrawing its approvals of penicillin and tetracycline for agricultural use. The agency was persistently stymied in its efforts, and 37 years later, has finally succeeded in imposing only voluntary controls. While Europe has succeeded with outright bans on growth promoters and country-specific controls on additional uses, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics remains common in US agriculture. Simultaneously, public health and medical, and even Congressional, opposition have risen — and so has the rate of emergence of antibiotic resistance worldwide. Will the dispute ever be resolved?

A talk by author and independent journalist Maryn McKenna, Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and Recipient of the 2013 Byron H. Waksman Award for Excellence in the Public Communication of Life Sciences.

Free and open to the public. For more information, call 508-289-7652 or visit here.

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