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Public Universities and Veterinary Medical College Task Force Praises Obama Budget Funding to Address Antimicrobial Resistance Problem

The White House today announced that President Obama’s FY 2016 budget will nearly double the amount of federal funding for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance. Dr. Lonnie King, chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) / Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture, said the proposed federal funding is “decisive and necessary.”

“The $1.2 billion in funding included in the President’s budget represents a strong commitment to address a global public health challenge,” said King, dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “This funding will help us develop an integrated approach to understanding the nature and long term implications of this multifaceted problem,” he continued.

The President’s proposed budget will support a broad range of research, surveillance and engagement, and includes more than $650 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, more than $280 million at the Centers for Disease Control, and funding for other several other agencies.

APLU and AAVMC formed the Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture to examine the role of antibiotic use in agricultural animals in response to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report entitled “Combating Antibiotic Resistance.”

The group met with officials from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) during its first meeting earlier this month and outlined its operational approach.

The task force is comprised of representatives from agriculture colleges and veterinary medical colleges at land grant universities as well as key representatives from the animal agriculture community and the pharmaceutical industry.

The task force will advise the federal government on a research agenda, educational and outreach recommendations and will assist with disseminating information on agricultural initiatives that will combat antimicrobial resistance. Officials from key federal agencies will serve as observers to the task force and leaders from public universities in Mexico and Canada are serving as ex officio members.

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