Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Officials must curb antibiotics, Greens say

Officials at key meeting this week must curb antibiotics, Greens say

Officials must move swiftly this week to curb agricultural use of antibiotics, Green Party Health Spokeserperson Sue Kedgley said today. Otherwise, medical advances of the past 50 years could be undermined by farming practices, she said.

Ms Kedgley was commenting on a report by an expert panel on the use of antibiotics in animal feed. The report is to be considered by the Animal Remedies Board on Wednesday, October 20. The report confirms that 57 percent of the antibiotics used in New Zealand are given to farm animals, Ms Kedgley said. "That's an extraordinary 53 tonnes of antibiotics," Ms Kedgley said. "At least a quarter of these antibiotics are routinely fed to perfectly healthy animals in their commercially prepared feed to make them grow more quickly. The government must move swiftly to make it illegal to feed antibiotics to farm animals without veterinary approval. "When you and I want to use an antibiotic, we have to get a prescription from the doctor," she said. "The same rules should apply to animals. They should not be available 'over the counter'."

The Greens also want to ban the practice of using antibiotics as growth promotants, Ms Kedgley said.

The report also confirms that 1.2 tonnes of antibiotics are sprayed onto fruit trees and tomato plants to help control fireblight. "Yet the government does not test fruit and tomatoes to see whether they contain antibiotic residues," Ms Kedgley said.

The over-use of antibiotics in agriculture demonstrated in the report was alarming, given the findings of a recent British study that antibiotics fed to farm animals results in the emergence of resistant bacteria and superbugs which can infect humans, she said. Superbugs are emerging in New Zealand hospitals, and common strains of bacteria of animal origin, such as salmonella, E coli and Staphyloccocus, are becoming resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics. Scientists warn it is only a matter of time before antibiotics will become ineffective in treating many human diseases. Ms Kedgley welcomed the panel's recommendation that some antibiotics that are routinely used as growth promotants and for prophylaxis be banned. However she said the panel's refusal to call for a ban on the use of all antibitoic growth promotants, or even to require that they be under veterinary control, indicated that it was putting commercial considerations ahead of the long-term health of New Zealanders.

The report offers no explanation as to why the panel is not prepared to recommend that antibiotic growth promotants be banned, or put under veterinary control, she said. Ms Kedgley also contested the panel's conclusion that antibiotic resistance is not a major problem in New Zealand. The panel acknowledges that there has been virtually no testing or monitoring for antibiotic resistance in New Zealand, so it has no basis to make such an assertion, she said.

The amount of antibiotic residues remaining in meat and horticultural products was unclear, she said, because only a small number of antibiotics (out of the 260 different antibiotic products on the market) were tested for by the Ministry of Agriculture. Nor were fruit and tomatoes tested by government to see if they contained antibiotic residues she said. Ms Kedgley also welcomed the panel's recommendation that antibiotic marker genes should not be allowed to be used in any genetically engineered organisms used in New Zealand.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election