Curbs Are Sought for Livestock Antibiotics
More on the damage being done to public health by the confinement livestock industry.
NOTE: This post initially appeared on WSJ.com on October 4, 2016
U.S. food regulators need to take further steps to curb antibiotics use in livestock to maintain the drugs’ ability to defend human health, according to an advocacy group.
By early next year, animal drugmakers have agreed to abide by U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines to stop using antibiotics used in human medicine to help livestock and poultry gain weight faster. Some antibiotics have been used for that purpose on farms for decades, in addition to treating and preventing disease.
But researchers for the Pew Charitable Trusts said Tuesday in a review of livestock antibiotics, that the new guidelines don’t go far enough. The Philadelphiabased group said regulators need to clamp down on how long some antibiotics can be used, and more closely scrutinize some uses that may not directly relate to keeping animals healthy.
An FDA spokeswoman said the agency considers the duration of antibiotics use “an important next step” to evaluate.