Navigation Links
FDA Seeks to Limit Antibiotics in Animal Feed
Date:4/12/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday called on food producers, drug companies and veterinarians to help limit the use of antibiotics in farm animals.

The practice of mixing antibiotics in animal feed to make livestock, pigs and chickens gain weight and become more resistant to disease has been criticized for years in many quarters. Health experts contend that this overuse of antibiotics has led to an increase of germs -- such as staph -- that are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics, threatening human health.

The FDA said it was issuing three documents to help veterinarians, farmers and animal producers use medically important antibiotics "judiciously" by limiting their use only to combat diseases and other health problems in animals. Under this "voluntary" initiative, certain antibiotics would not be used for so-called "production" purposes, which include enhancing growth or improving the effectiveness of animal feed, the agency said in a news release.

These antibiotics would still be available to prevent, control or treat illnesses in food-producing animals under the supervision of a veterinarian, the agency said.

"We know that the widespread use of antibiotics can contribute to antimicrobial resistance, which has public health consequences," Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, said during a noon press briefing. "We know that the use of medically important drugs for production purposes in food-producing animals is a contributing factor."

The FDA is proposing a three-year voluntary plan to change how antibiotics are labeled and used in farm animals. The agency hopes these steps will help preserve the effectiveness of these drugs for people.

The FDA said it decided at this time to make the changes voluntary, not mandatory.

"With the willingness of drug companies and others in the animal-production industry to collaborate in implementing our strategy, we can make changes more quickly than if we had to rely on a cumbersome regulatory process," Taylor said. "Working together is how we will get results in a timely manner."

But, if after three years, progress is lagging, then the FDA will consider tougher measures, he said.

The three documents, or plans, released by the FDA Wednesday are designed to help farmers, animal producers and veterinarians to use antibiotics in farm animals only to treat diseases.

The plans will ensure that certain antibiotics aren't used to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency in animals. These antibiotics could still be used to "prevent, control or treat illnesses in food-producing animals under the supervision of a veterinarian," the FDA said in a news release.

According to the FDA, the three documents being issued include guidelines for industry to assist in phasing out the use of antibiotics and increasing the oversight by veterinarians. The second document is a proposal to help drug companies phase out recommendations on using antibiotics for farm animals. And the third proposal outlines how veterinarians can use animal drugs in feed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also involved with the new initiative.

Dr. John Clifford, chief veterinary medical officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said in the news release: "USDA worked with the FDA to ensure that the voices of livestock producers across the country were taken into account, and we will continue to collaborate with the FDA, the American Veterinary Medical Association and livestock groups to ensure that the appropriate services are available to help make this transition."

Commenting on the changes, Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University School of Medicine's Prevention Research Center, said that "antimicrobial resistance is among the scariest trends in modern public health."

"We are in a race with germs that can cause infection and death, and when new kinds of resistance emerge, the germs get out ahead of us. The threat of serious infections we simply don't have drugs to treat is very realistic," he said.

While most people think antibiotic use by people is the major cause of such resistance, widespread use of the drugs in the raising of feed animals is probably an even bigger problem, Katz said.

"FDA guidance intended to reduce use of antibiotics in animal husbandry is thus important, timely, and very welcome. But, the new guidance is voluntary," he noted. "The real measure of this initiative will be how widely and rapidly it is applied."

Public health advocates are skeptical about asking drug makers to voluntarily restrict use of their products.

"The FDA is asking the public health community and those suffering from diseases whose antibiotic treatment has been compromised to simply trust them, and to trust the voluntary plan and the cooperation of the pharmaceutical industry to bring about needed change," Richard Wood, chairman of Keep Antibiotics Working, said in a news release. "This is not about trust. This is a question of whether or not the FDA has fulfilled its mandate of protecting public health."

More information

To learn more about antibiotic resistance, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; April 11, 2012, press briefing with Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; April 11, 2012, news release, Keep Antibiotics Working, Washington, D.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Seeks Reduction in Radiation From Medical Scans
2. Summit seeks to spark call to action on facing worlds biggest challenges
3. Summit Seeks to Spark Call to Action on Facing Worlds Biggest Challenges
4. Rev. Michel Faulkner Seeks to Retire Charlie Rangel from New York's 15th Congressional Seat
5. Long Term Care Insurance Leader Seeks 320 New Agents in 2010, Following Strong 2009 Growth
6. Bench to bassinet program seeks congenital heart disease treatments
7. International summit seeks solutions to global shortage of nursing faculty
8. European collaboration seeks to create World Wide Web for robots
9. Day Twenty-Eight Seeks Krauss For 'Shelter': Film will Personalize Epidemic of Teen Pregnancy
10. RAPS Seeks Nominations for Regulatory Awards, RAPS Fellows
11. Consortium seeks best treatment for HIV-positive cancer patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/28/2016)... ... 2016 , ... After a year and a half of planning the Multiple Pathways of ... Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference was held May 2 -4, 2016 at the Mystic ... came together to explore the many pathways individuals use to get into and sustain their ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Two director-level employees of Horizon Blue Cross Blue ... Industry (TWIN) 2016 honorees. The award recognizes businesswomen who excel in their fields ... Director of the MLTSS (Managed Long-Term Services and Supports) Program at Horizon NJ Health ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... This campaign aims to provide a path to improved education and ... and change. , As nearly 795,000 Americans suffering from a new or recurrent stoke ... with an estimated 129,000 of these people dying from stroke, it’s become our nation’s ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and employees in ... courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It also provides ... and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones & Bartlett Learning is adding ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting at a June rate hike after the ... for an interest rate increase, according to Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic Forecasting Center ... Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of interest to the press for their noise ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... PUNE, India , May 27, 2016 ... in the instances of hypertension is driving ambulatory blood ... muscles lose their elasticity and their ability to respond ... blood pressure. This condition can lead to various cardiovascular ... and peripheral vascular disease. These diseases are growing in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 According ... "Medical Waste Management Market - U.S. Industry Analysis, Size, Share, ... management market in the U.S. was valued at US$ 5.89 ... CAGR of 3.4% from 2015 to 2023 to reach US$ ... analysis of current and emerging needle free drug delivery devices ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25,2016 FDA 510(k) ... Cellvizio platform for urological and surgical applications ... inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy ... in the US with the 12 th ... Administration (FDA). This new FDA clearance covers Confocal ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: