biotics, they have fallen short, said Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "We believe additional steps are needed to have an impact on this problem," she said at the press conference.
The public and industry will have 60 days to comment on the proposed guidelines, the agency said. Sharfstein said he hopes to see progress soon.
One food industry group, the National Pork Producers Council, believes that FDA regulations already in place are sufficient.
The FDA approves antibiotics for four purposes: treatment of illness, prevention of disease, control of disease and the nutritional efficiency of animals, the council said.
"According to the Animal Health Institute, approximately 13 percent of animal antibiotics are used for nutritional efficiency," the council said in a note on its Web site. "Existing FDA regulations provide adequate safeguards against antibiotic resistance. Any regulatory decisions or legislative action on antibiotic use in animals must be transparent and made based on scientific risk analysis."
For more information on antibiotic resistance, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: June 28, 2010, teleconference with Joshua Sharfstein, M.D., principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs, Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., director, Center for Veterinary Medicine, both with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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