Will the FDA’s 2013 Antibiotic Guidance clean up Farming?
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.
Chicks are “vaccinated” as soon as their eggs are laid and before they even hatch
Today, large-scale poultry production has precious little to do with green fields and ruddy-cheeked farmers. Every year, more than 40 billion chickens are slaughtered worldwide for meat, the vast majority of them intensively factory-farmed.
They are often also dosed up with antibiotics — a preventative measure that is easier and cheaper than dealing with individual illnesses at a later date. Now experts are warning that the overuse of antibiotics in poultry farms around the world is creating a generation of superbugs that are resistant to treatment by virtually every drug in the medical establishment’s armoury.
With up to 80 per cent of the raw chicken on sale in some countries carrying these resistant bacteria, they can be transferred to humans during the handling of infected meat or the eating of undercooked produce.
Hospital Superbugs: New Report Shows Alarming Increase In Antibiotic-Resistant Germs
” Health officials are reporting an alarming increase in some dangerous superbugs at U.S. hospitals … … These superbugs from a common germ family have become extremely resistant to treatment with antibiotics.”
Read Superbugs threaten hospital patients, cdc, March 3, 2016 – Drug-Resistant Superbugs Kill At Least 23,000 People in the U.S. Each Year, scientificamerican, September 16, 2013.
To the dismay of consumer and sustainable agriculture advocates, the Food and Drug Administration rejected two petitions to ban certain antibiotics from being used in food animal production.
In its response to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the FDA cited the withdrawal of diethylstilbestrol DES in 1979, which took a full seven years to complete, and the withdrawal of enrofloxacin in poultry, which took almost five years and cost FDA approximately $3.3 million. Read more : ” FDA Denies Petition to Ban Certain Antibiotics “.
FDA cannot withdraw approval of a new animal drug until the legally-mandated process is complete
In its response to CSPI, the FDA cited the withdrawal of Diethylstilbestrol DES in 1979, which took a full seven years to complete, and the withdrawal of enrofloxacin in poultry, which took almost five years and cost FDA approximately $3.3 million.