Several food-safety and health advocates who have been participating in the antimicrobial task force over the past four years said the agency had never directly solicited their input, nor given them the chance to modify the government’s official position. They also noted that Washington’s efforts to keep antifungal drugs out of the task force’s documents stand in contrast to federal policies aimed at monitoring the potential impacts those drugs have on human health.
“What the U.S. essentially wants is weak international standards because that makes it easier for American companies to export these pesticides,” said Steven Roach, a senior analyst for Keep Antibiotics Working, a coalition of consumer and environmental groups seeking to combat the inappropriate use of antimicrobial drugs in the food supply. “It’s bad for the world, but it’s bad for the U.S. because so much of our food comes from overseas.”
In its statement, the agriculture department