FDA Issues Directives to Curb Livestock Antibiotic Usage

Posted on April 11, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration is doing what it can to prevent animals from becoming resistant to antibiotics that ought to help stave off infections.

For years now, various livestock producers have been using antibiotics to make animals such as cattle grow larger so as to improve food output, or else to improve feed efficiency.  The problem with this practice is that those animals can begin to develop a resistance to the very antibiotics meant to make animals healthier and heartier.  Therefore, when an animal actually does get sick, those same antibiotics are much less effective at curing the illness.

To combat this, the FDA today announced three documents that are going to be laying out new guidelines for livestock producers to follow in order to ensure the health of so-called food producing animals.

The first is meant to act as guidance in how producers can phase out the usage of such antibiotics.  It calls for veterinarians to be brought in to supervise the application of antibiotics in instances where animals really are sick.  The second document will advise drug companies on how they ought to remove from their labels statements touting their usage in food production, putting in its place information about veterinarian-assisted illness treatment.  The third is a proposal for how vets can determine how to efficiently permit antibiotic usage among animals.

I’ll be paying attention to this story as a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.  This is a step that many activists have been trying to get the FDA to enact for some time, and no matter what happens, I just hope that it keeps humans and animals alike safe.

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