FDA working to phase out Use of certain Antibiotics to make Food-producing Animals gain Weight

Will the FDA’s 2013 Antibiotic Guidance clean up Farming?

A long waited step to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics drugs critical to human health.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is implementing a voluntary plan with industry to phase out the use of certain antibiotics for enhanced food production.

Some farmers have been exploiting antibiotics by adding to the animal feed or drinking water of cattle, hogs, poultry and other food-producing animals to help them gain weight faster or use less food to gain weight.

Because all uses of antimicrobial drugs, in both humans and animals, contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance, it is important to use these drugs only when medically necessary. Governments around the world consider antimicrobial-resistant bacteria a major threat to public health. Illnesses caused by drug-resistant strains of bacteria are more likely to be potentially fatal when the medicines used to treat them are rendered less effective.

The FDA’s actions will limit the medications to their original purpose — to treat infections — and require veterinarians to dispense the drugs.

FDA Consumer Update:

Phasing Out Certain Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dec. 11, 2013

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