Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FDA doesn't like use of antibiotics to spur growth in livestock; could propose rules to limit practice

The Food and Drug Administration doesn't like antibiotics being "used for growth promotion in livestock" but isn't ready to issue regulations limiting the practice, common in confined animal feeding operations, Philip Brasher of the Des Moines Register reports on the paper's Green Fields blog. "The FDA issued a draft guidance document outlining the agency’s thinking ... that veterinarians should oversee all use of antimicrobials on farms." The 19-page guidance document is "in line with the policy the agency announced a year ago at a House of Representatives hearing to the chagrin of the livestock industry," Brasher writes.

"Using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not in the interest of promoting and protecting" human health, said Joshua Sharfstein, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner. FDA will take public comment for 60 days. Dave Warner, a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, said the FDA policy "could lead to the elimination or costly review of previously approved" drugs and that there "appears to be no science" behind the agency’s document. (Read more)

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