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 Welcoming The Major Health Reforms

Usually “reform” of government agencies is a cost cutting exercise in disguise, but this morning’s revision of the health system looks totally different. These reforms amount to the biggest shake-up of the health system since the neo-liberal reforms of the early 1990s, which have now been completely reversed. Good. The main ingredients announced by Health Minister Andrew Little this morning have included the setting up of a new and truly independent Maori Health Authority... More>>

 

The Conversation: If We Want To Improve NZ’s Freshwater Quality, First We Need To Improve The Quality Of Our Democracy
Since the fatal Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in 2016, freshwater quality has rightfully been a major political issue in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

Government: Major Reforms Will Make Healthcare Accessible For All NZers

Putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensuring fairer access for all New Zealanders are two of the main drivers of health sector reforms announced today by Health Minister Andrew Little. “We are going to put the emphasis squarely ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Border Exceptions Will See More Families Reunited

Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. More>>

ALSO:


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels