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Congresswoman Welcomes FDA Move on Antibiotics

13 April 2012

US - Following the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement that it is taking three steps to protect public health and promote the judicious use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals, campaigning congresswoman Louise Slaughter welcomed the move.

However, although congress woman Slaughter said it was a step in the right direction, she called for tighter measures to restrict antibiuotic use.

The voluntary initiative calls for labelling and a restricted use of antimicrobial drugs in livestock.

The FDA issued three documents that will help veterinarians, farmers and animal producers use medically important antibiotics judiciously in food-producing animals by targeting their use to only address diseases and health problems.

Under this new voluntary initiative, certain antibiotics would not be used for so-called “production” purposes, such as to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency in an animal.

"This is a step in the right direction, but much more must be done. Antibiotic-resistant diseases now kill more Americans than AIDS and this issue needs to be treated with the seriousness it deserves. Of course if an animal is sick it should be treated, but the misuse of antibiotics in animal feed is destroying the effectiveness of antibiotics and limiting our ability to treat human illnesses.

"'Nonbinding recommendations' are not a strong enough antidote to the problem, particularly when we know that banned antibiotics are still being detected. So today's announcement is a step forward but much more must be done to ensure the safety of our food supply.

"Additionally, the FDA's pace here has been nothing short of glacial. They need to move more quickly when the health of the American people is at stake."

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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