FDA Opposes Antibiotic Use in Livestock

The Food and Drug Administration recently took the first steps in banning the non-treatment-based use of antibiotics in US livestock, arguing that antibiotic abuse can lead to the rise of drug-resistant super-bugs in the US food supply, risking the health of consumers and the strength of US farm exports.
The non-treatment-based use of antibiotics has been controversial for the past several years. With recent reports suggesting that a significant portion of American meat is contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria, a report coming at the same time as a series of food-borne illness outbreaks, consumer advocacy groups have been demanding increased federal regulation.
The FDA, while still only taking tentative steps, appears committed to reducing and eliminating the use of antibiotics for non-medical treatments.
Antibiotics are frequently used by farmers to boost growth and reduce feed consumption.
“Implementing this strategy is an important step forward in addressing antimicrobial resistance. The FDA is leveraging the cooperation of the pharmaceutical industry to voluntarily make these changes because we believe this approach is the fastest way to achieve our goal,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor in a statement. “Based on our outreach, we have every reason to believe that animal pharmaceutical companies will support us in this effort.”
“There will be fewer approved uses, and the remaining uses will be under tighter control,” Taylor told reporters Wednesday. “It avoids legalistic, product-by-product regulatory proceedings that would take years to complete.”
While consumer advocacy groups argue that banning off-label antibiotic use will increase consumer health and create better quality products, some farmers and ranchers are hesitant to embrace the new regulations. Given that farm safety nets are being gradually undermined by relentless cuts in farm spending, many ranchers are feeling particularly vulnerable. Without access to farm loans and farm subsidies, and with reduced access to various federal programs, many farmers are reluctant to increase their operational costs.
To learn about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting www.farmloans.com.
Follow us on: Twitter