GFM Network News


Only about 20 per cent of cow-calf producers are using Category 1 antimicrobials on their animals in a given year, a new study shows.

Producers careful with antimicrobials, survey finds

Only 20 per cent of those surveyed ever used antimicrobials 
important in human medicine, but some resistance was found

Cow-calf producers are being careful with antimicrobials — and that’s a good news story the industry needs to share with consumers, says one of the researchers of a groundbreaking study of cattle production on the Prairies. The cattle health network, which has been tracking production practices of more than 100 cow-calf producers since 2012, found […] Read more

Bacteria share antibiotic resistance with genetic partners

Michigan State University researchers have uncovered a troubling trend towards multiple antibiotic resistance in concentrated animal feeding operations. A research team led by James Tiedje, distinguished professor of microbiology found that in large swine farms where antibiotics are used continuously in feed for growth promotion and disease prevention, multi-drug-resistant bacteria are likely the norm rather […] Read more


New website focuses on antimicrobial resistance

The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association has launched a campaign called Raised with Care to inform livestock producers about upcoming changes to antimicrobial regulations and livestock production practices. “Controlling the spread of (antibiotic) resistance is essential if we hope to retain our access to these tools that save countless human and animal lives,” the association said […] Read more

Antibiotics should only be used to treat disease, not to prevent it, says veterinarian Craig Dorin.

Antibiotic resistance threat can’t be dismissed, say experts

Antibiotic use in cattle doesn’t appear to be a threat 
to human medicines, but their use must still be curbed

Despite intense scrutiny, there’s little evidence that antibiotic use in the cattle industry is increasing resistance to human medicines. But it could be causing increased resistance to antibiotics used to treat cattle, say two experts. There’s no question that using antibiotics increases the odds of bacteria becoming resistant, said Reynold Bergen, science director of the […] Read more


Tips on the proper use of livestock antibiotics

Here are Dr. Craig Dorin’s recommendations for using antimicrobials effectively. Don’t use antimicrobials for diseases that they are not indicated for. For example, abscesses are a common problem, but these are localized infections. If the animal does not have a fever and the infection is not systemic, it doesn’t need an antibiotic. Similarly, don’t use […] Read more

The Public Health Agency of Canada recently said it had found the MCR-1 gene present in three cases — two involving ground beef in Ontario in 2010 and one involving an Ottawa woman in 2011.

Livestock drug use back in the spotlight

New ‘superbug’ gene has alarm bells ringing around world and 
will likely mean more oversight of antimicrobials here

The discovery that a much feared “superbug” gene has somehow crossed the border into Canada is increasing calls for more oversight of on-farm antibiotic and antimicrobial use. The new gene, called MCR-1, makes bacteria immune to a group of antibiotics used as the last defence to fight resistant bugs. MCR-1 was confirmed to have surfaced […] Read more


U.K. review calls for urgent cuts to antibiotic use in livestock

London | Reuters –– Massive use of antibiotics in farming poses a critical threat to global public health and should be reduced dramatically to an internationally-agreed target, according to a British government-commissioned review. Agreeing and implementing a global target for agricultural antibiotic use won’t be easy, the review, led by former Goldman Sachs chief economist […] Read more

Science lacking in alarmist report on beef safety

The numerous misleading statements in a new report are no reason 
for consumers to lose confidence in the safety of Canadian beef

Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center released its Beef Report last month. A number of questions, concerns and criticisms have been raised by the North American Meat Institute, the International Food Information Council, Business Insider, and others. Rather than answer the specific questions raised, Consumer Reports encouraged people to read the report more closely. […] Read more


What Consumer Reports said about beef safety

The organization claims that drug-resistant bacteria pose a serious and growing health threat

The following is excerpted from The Beef Report produced by Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center. The full report can be found here. The danger of superbugs Foodborne illness caused by drug-resistant bacteria, such as the antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella that have caused beef-related outbreaks in recent years, are also a major cause for […] Read more

Cherie Copithorne-Barnes has had a front-row seat as global giants like McDonald’s and Walmart move to selling ‘sustainable’ beef.

The new world of ‘sustainable’ beef

Rancher Cherie Copithorne-Barnes has dealt with the movers and the shakers in the sustainable beef movement – and they're not all the same

Who’s driving this bus? Amid ‘grocery wars,’ Jamie Oliver, ‘hormone free,’ Walmart, and a storm of related debate, this is the core question many producers and others in animal agriculture have about the new swath of expectations and ‘sustainability’ programs taking hold in the industry and the marketplace. One person with a unique, up-close perspective […] Read more