News

FDA phasing out some antibiotic use in animal production

FDA phasing out some antibiotic use in animal production

JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS: Turkeys raised without the use of antibiotics are seen at David Martin's farm, in Lebanon, Pa. The same life-saving drugs that are prescribed to treat everything from ear infections to tuberculosis in humans also are used to fatten the animals that supply the chicken, beef and pork we eat every day. Farmers say they have to feed the drugs to animals to keep them healthy and meet America's growing appetite for cheap meat. But public health advocates argue that the practice breeds antibiotic-resistant germs in animals that can cause deadly diseases in humans. Photo: Associated Press/Matt Rourke

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it planned to phase out the use of some antibiotics in animals used for food, to prevent bacteria from becoming resistant to drugs used to treat humans.

In guidance issued on Wednesday, the FDA asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily revise labels of medically important antibiotics to remove references to use in animal production.

“Because antimicrobial drug use in both humans and animals can contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance, it is important to use these drugs only when medically necessary,” the FDA said in a release.

The FDA said its plan focuses on antimicrobial drugs that are important for treating human infection and which are approved for use in feed and water of food animals.

The agency on Wednesday issued a “final guidance,” directing animal health companies to voluntarily remove animal-production uses from the labels of their medicines. Moreover, the guidance will bring the drugs under oversight of veterinarians by changing the over-the-counter status of the products.

The FDA said it will require animal pharmaceutical companies to notify the agency within three months of their intent to adopt its strategy. The companies would then have three years to complete the transition process.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson and Esha Dey in Bangalore; editing by Matthew Lewis)

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in National

‘Flags in’ for Memorial Day weekend

flags16146721748085

The tradition marks the beginning of Memorial Day weekend activities around the nation.

4 hours ago in Local

UMass Becomes First Major Public University to Divest from Direct Fossil Fuel Holdings

UMass Amherst

UMass yesterday became the first major university to divest fossil fuel proceeds from its endowment.

4 hours ago in Local

Timber Rattlesnake Sanctuary on Hold

rattlesnake

The idea has been widely opposed by residents who live near the Quabbin and use it for recreation.

4 hours ago in Local

Easthampton Considers Plastic Bag Ban

reusable plastic bag clipart

The idea is expected to be the focus of several more public meetings before it is brought to the full council for a vote.

4 hours ago in Local

Amherst Voters Nix Zoning Change

Amherst Town Hall

Town meeting members voted to send the measure back to the planning board for further study.