Under the FDA plan, therapeutic uses of antibiotics in animals would require veterinary oversight, meaning the drugs "could be used in food-producing animals only under veterinary orders to treat, prevent or control disease," CNN reports. "Currently, the law tracks only how many antibiotics are sold; it does not mandate data collection on how many animals are given the drugs or how much. Without that information, it is hard to know where antibiotics are used."
UPDATE, Dec. 12: "Some lawmakers and consumer advocates contend the agency should have made the changes mandatory," The Wall Street Journal reports. "Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D.-N.Y.) called the guidance an 'inadequate response' that falls 'woefully short.' Jeff Duchin, chairman of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's public health committee, said the FDA action 'allows a lot of wiggle room, and we'd like to see them move more quickly.' . . . The FDA's guidance urges drug makers to change drug labels to allow the medicines' use only when medically necessary for livestock." (Read more) And one has to wonder if the industry will do that when animals consume 80 percent of U.S. antibiotics.