Court orders FDA to review antibiotic use in livestock — finally

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it was studying a federal judge’s order that it consider withdrawing two popular antibiotics from use in livestock. In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz said that the FDA must issue notices to drug manufacturers that the drugs will be withdrawn unless the companies can prove they’re safe. Katz didn’t issue a full ban — suggesting the manufacturers should be given a hearing to make their case.

The suit was originally brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which argued that the FDA has allowed livestock producers to use popular antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline in feed for more than 30 years for purposes other than treatment of illnesses.

The NRDC claims “the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal feed can lead to the growth and spread of drug-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people.” Antibiotic resistant bacteria are fast-moving, can be deadly, and can infect otherwise healthy individuals.

In its statement, the FDA said, “We are studying the opinion and considering appropriate next steps…”

As they have been saying for the last 35 years.

The suit alleged that the FDA’s failure to withdraw approval of penicillin and tetracycline after the 1977 research was unlawful and violated the administrative procedure act.

According to the NRDC, 80% of antibiotics used in the United States is used in livestock

Meanwhile, the ruling isn’t sitting well with beef producers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association noted its dissent in a statement saying “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

Overdue. Every time this has been brought up – decisions have been overdue. The “new” FDA made noises about doing something – but hasn’t yet. The medical-industrial complex certainly isn’t in any hurry to reduce the excess amount of antibiotics produced.

One thought on “Court orders FDA to review antibiotic use in livestock — finally

  1. Michael Herron says:

    I know a person who works at the FDA. I am told that the rank and file there would LOVE to clamp down on the use of antibiotics in feed. They have been trying to for many years. The problem is not with the FDA, it is with the senators who scream bloody murder every time the issue is brought up. Much of the FDA staff are scientists and they have understood this problem for decades.

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