FDA to Limit Antibiotics Use in Farm Animals

Concerns of overuse creating resistant strains


As experts continue to sound alarm bells about the rising resistance of microbes to antibiotics used by humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced it was curbing the use of the drugs in livestock nationwide.

"FDA is issuing a plan today, in collaboration with the animal health industry, to phase out the use of medically important [for treating human infections] antimicrobials in food animals for production purposes, such as to enhance growth rates and improve feeding efficiency," Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the agency, said during a Wednesday morning press briefing.

Experts have long stressed that the overuse of antibiotics by the meat and poultry industry gives dangerous germs such as Staphylococcus and C. difficile a prime breeding ground to develop mutations around drugs often used by humans. But for years, millions of doses of antibiotics have been added to the feed or water of cattle, poultry, hogs and other animals to produce fatter animals while using less feed.

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  1. Meanwhile, are the FDA and DEA going to forbid the issuance of antibiotics to humans when they have no proven value in treating the patient’s condition? I thought not. Or in cases where it is already known that the patient will not complete the course of treatment? I thought not.

    I can’t talk about animals and antibiotics, but I sure can factually discuss the failings of our medical practitioners. Contracting TB (from an AIDS patient) thoroughly convinced me to strictly follow the doc’s directions. Working to develop a successful course of treatment for MRSA burnt it into my mind.

    Culturing and refining the genetic code (literally survival of the fittest) in human beings is far preferable, if you are developing a bio-weapon, than any other species of animal. Meanwhile, I’m going to kick back and watch the war. I’m completely comfy around these super-bugs. Experimental vaccines [that took!] keep me so.

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