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EU project promotes safer farming practices and healthier food
From the end of 2005, the EU will ban the use of growth-promoting antibiotics (GPAs) in farming. Producers of pigs, chickens and fish are currently those most dependent on GPAs, and the antibiotic withdrawal will have a massive impact on their farming practices. It is therefore essential that substitutes for GPAs be identified if EU producers are to maintain profitability and competitiveness against overseas producers where such restrictions do not exist.
Speaking to CORDIS News, John Wallace, the project coordinator of the REPLACE project from the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, explained the reason behind the EU's decision.
'There is evidence that, for at least one antibiotic used for growth promotion in farm animals, a transmissible drug resistance factor arose that jumped to bacteria, which caused infection in man. The human infection would no longer respond to structurally related therapeutic antibiotics used to fight infection in man. Thus, in order to avoid this potential threat to antibiotic therapy in humans, the EU decided to ban all GPAs from the end of 2005,' said Dr Wallace.