Last week, the FDA introduced new policy that aims to curtail growth promotion antibiotics used on livestock. The use of these antibiotics on animals has been linked to the generation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans.
While farmers and the meat industry support the FDA, neither think the new regulations will have an impact on the livestock industry. The FDA’s regulations deem it illegal to use antibiotics for growth promotion purposes, only allowing for antibiotic use when medically necessary. While the FDA now requires veterinarians to supervise antibiotic use on livestock, farmers will still be able to use antibiotics for preventative measures, especially in feed and water.
According to the FDA, almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used on livestock in 2011, a 2% increase from 2010. In 2011, around 7.3 million pounds of antibiotics were used to medicate people.
The FDA’s new policy is not mandatory for drug companies, yet animal drug companies like Zoetis and Elanco have complied. The guidelines request that drug companies remove any wording from their labels that implies that a drug promotes growth.
These are the steps in the right direction to protect animal and human health while enhancing public image for livestock and drug companies.
December 27, 2013
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