FDA Released Draft of New Livestock Production Guidelines

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft of the new policy goals for the use of antimicrobials in livestock production. The document may cost meat producers more money and generate more health.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) reported that the document could cause an expensive review of previously approved animal-health products and may even eliminate such preventative measures may even become obsolete.
The draft outlines the FDA’s current thoughts and plans to assure that antimicrobial drugs are used carefully in agriculture. The FDA recognizes the current reason and need to use such drugs, but the agency believes there are other preventative measures that can be used.
According to the draft, the FDA wants antibiotics to be used only when necessary for animal health. The antibiotics should be administered by a veterinary.
Sam Carney, NPPC President, said, “This guidance could eliminate certain antibiotics that are extremely important to the health of animals.” He added, “FDA didn’t present any science on which to base this, yet it could have a tremendous negative impact on animal health and, ultimately, the safety of food. We know that healthy animals produce safe food, and we need every available tool to protect animal health.”
The current draft outlines three basic principles that are considered “crucial” to the FDA:
• Non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials, or sub-therapeutic use for feed efficiency, “is an injudicious use.” The agency goal is to protect antibiotics that important to human health.
• “Medically important antimicrobial drugs” should be limited “to uses in food-producing animals that are considered necessary for assuring animal health and that include veterinary oversight or consultation.”
• Hazards of antimicrobial resistance, including the growing emergence of multiple-drug resistance is “a major public health issue”
The draft will be discussed by various panels of officials from both the agriculture industry and government committees. The guidance does not enforce a law, but the FDA is treating it as it does.
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