"Immediately after that ban, in swine the number of pigs that had to be treated for illness actually doubled and that trend continued for many years after the ban," Hurd said. "The World Health Organization did a study in 2002 and they said very clearly they could find no evidence that human health has actually improved or that risk has actually been reduced."
The media has unfairly portrayed this as a food safety story. Hurd says an antibiotic ban would actually decrease the health of meat animals entering the food supply.
"Antibiotics and other treatments and management are used in livestock in order to produce healthy animals, which result in healthy food," Hurd said. "As the deputy undersecretary I was in charge of all food and meat inspection in the United States. Our first concern is to make sure that no unhealthy animal enters the food chain, so obviously healthy animals are an important part of that, antibiotics are an important part of making animals healthy and getting those into the food chain."