The Obama Administration has announced steps to reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria that is the result of over-exposure to antibiotics in the environment. The steps are mostly preliminary in nature, establishing task forces to study the problem and propose fixes. Health officials are concerned that drug-resistant bacteria will result in outbreaks of disease that can’t be treated. The White House initiative doesn’t directly address the issue of antibiotics fed to livestock, but meat producers are cautiously supportive of the action so far.

“We support the steps that have been taken by FDA to seek the phase out of antibiotics to promote growth and to increase veterinary oversight, moves which are consistent with protecting both animal and public health,” Betsy Booren, American Meat Institute vice president of scientific affairs, said in a statement. “It is encouraging that all 26 companies that make animal health products have pledged to comply with this FDA policy.”

Booren says AMI supports Administration efforts to conduct further research and data collection to help ensure that “the correct antibiotics are used in the correct circumstances in both human and animal medicine in order to best reduce antibiotic resistance in all populations.”