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Pork Producers Deserve a Seat in Post-Harvest Food Policy Discussions

When we talk about advocacy in animal health and welfare, pre-harvest activities come to mind. Funding and strengthening programs to protect the nation’s pig herd from a foreign animal disease is a vital priority. Equally important are post-harvest policy issues such as food safety, human nutrition and responsible antibiotic use – key topics NPPC is discussing on a national and global stage.

Working with U.S. government agencies, livestock group partners and international regulatory bodies, I oversee NPPC’s advocacy for animal health and food safety throughout the supply chain. I’m passionate to educate diverse stakeholders on how pigs are raised and elevate the high standards utilized in the pork industry to build confidence in modern production practices.

Food safety in the United States is first-rate, which has helped position U.S. pork exports favorably to foreign markets. But as the U.S. government looks to strengthen our food system standards, it’s important to ensure any new or updated regulations are science-based and practical. 

 

 

Salmonella is a good example. The FDA is working to reduce the number of foodborne outbreaks associated with it to achieve its Healthy People 2030 goals. NPPC is working on behalf of pork producers to shape what future regulations might (and might not) include. As a veterinarian representing the pork industry, I participate in the farm-to-fork working group to raise awareness of the industry’s food safety efforts and advocate for science-based decisions to ensure safe food.

Elsewhere, the U.S. government continues to take steps to promote the responsible use of antibiotics in livestock, reduce antibiotic resistance, and safeguard animal and public health. These are part of a broader One Health approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health. It is important to safeguard our antibiotics to ensure that we can use these tools to help animals and protect antibiotics for future generations.

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