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article imageDrug companies to phase out animal antibiotics

By Tim Sandle     Mar 31, 2014 in Environment
The U.S. FDA has asked 26 companies to voluntarily stop labeling drugs important for treating human infection as acceptable for animal growth promotion.
Although the companies have not been named, the initiative comes about as a means to minimize antibiotics entering the environment, the New York Times has reported. Scientists are of the opinion that antibiotics used to on animals is one of the major causes of antibiotic resistance and thus a risk to human health.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the companies will either withdraw the drugs from animal use completely or revise them so they would only be able to be used with a veterinarian's prescription. The FDA have stated that the 25 companies represent 99.6% of the supply the agency is targeting.
The FDA has said that the companies that make the drugs for animal feed would remove the words “growth-promotion” from their labels, effectively making it illegal for farmers and ranchers to use the drugs for that purpose.
Although the move has been welcomed by many scientists, the decision came in the wake of a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the FDA has been ignoring its own rules on the use of antibiotics in animal feed for decades. According to the Washington Post, NRDC has reported that at least 26 of the feed additives that FDA researchers reviewed — some of which have been in use since the 1950s — did not meet standards set by the agency in 1973 that required companies to submit scientific studies proving that the drugs were safe.
More about Antibiotics, Bacteria, Pharmaceuticals, Drugs, Animals
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