FDA Prohibiting Some Use of Important Human Antibiotic in Farmed Animals
On January 4, the Federal Food and Drug Administration issued an order prohibiting some use of the cephalosporin class of antibiotics. These drugs are used to treat a variety of human ailments and are sensitive to antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
The FDA is banning some extralabel (off label) use of most cephalosporin antibiotics in cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys. However, it is permitting any extralabel use in ducks and rabbits. Other permitted uses include extralabel use of cephapirin and the use of cephalosporins for actual disease so long as the appropriate dose is used.
Farmers would no longer be able to inject cephalosporin antibiotics into fertilized hatching eggs to prevent infection outbreaks as a preventative measure.
Antibiotics should be used to treat actual disease, not promote growth in animals or prevent possible infections because of overcrowding and poor health management. This is a first step, but it is not sufficient.
The FDA is allowing a public comment period from January 5, 2012 through March 6, 2012.
What you can do:
You can leave a comment supporting the initial ban but encouraging an eventual phase out of all non-therapeutic antibiotics in animal agribusiness.
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