Friday, October 03, 2014

California governor vetoes bill that addresses antibiotic use in livestock

California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, whose state is the nation's top agriculture producer, this week vetoed legislation that sought to adhere to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's plan to phase out antibiotic use in livestock, Ed Silverman reports for The Wall Street Journal. Brown said the FDA plan, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2016, was unnecessary "since most major animal producers have already pledged to go beyond the FDA standard."

Brown's "decision comes shortly after the Obama administration released a game plan for combating antibiotic resistance, which the CDC has blamed for at least 2 million illnesses and about 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S.," Silverman writes. "Consequently, consumer advocates and some lawmakers have called for tougher measures to restrict usage among food-producing livestock."

"About 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for use on livestock and poultry, and an FDA report released (Thursday) shows that the total quantity of antimicrobial active ingredients sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals increased by 16% between 2009 and 2012," Silverman writes. "Agency critics say that only an outright ban on promoting antibiotics for preventing disease can mitigate resistance. They argue voluntary agreements can be easily breached. However, they suffered a setback recently when a federal appeals court ruled the FDA does not have to consider implementing a ban." (Read more)

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