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USA Today: The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday started a process of voluntarily phasing out the use of some antibiotics in animals processed for meat.

Melanie Wong Dec 11, 2013 03:34 PM

"The agency said that it was giving drug companies that sell antibiotics for animal feed 90 days to voluntarily rewrite the labels on those drugs. The new labels will say that the antibiotics and antimicrobials can only be used to treat actual illnesses in animals under the supervision of a veterinarian."

"Drugs that will be affected include tetracyclines, penicillin and macrolides such as azithromycin, Flynn said.

Classes of drugs that are not used to treat human illness will continue to be available to animal producers to add to feed to increase growth, said Flynn."


  1. c oliver Dec 11, 2013 03:58 PM

    "It's a good first step down the path toward ending antibiotic overuse in animal agriculture," said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union.

    Glad to see it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      sandiasingh Dec 11, 2013 04:27 PM

      It's voluntary. They're throwing a bone to the public.

      1. re: sandiasingh
        c oliver Dec 11, 2013 04:34 PM

        Voluntary for now. We'll see.

        1. re: c oliver
          calumin Dec 11, 2013 10:42 PM

          The voluntary part is for drug companies, but the two leading drug makers have already said they will comply.

          They are also requiring that licensed veterinarians sponsor the application of any antibiotics, which will make it illegal for farmers to use them without a prescription. Meaning they can't be used indiscriminately just to promote animal growth.


          1. re: calumin
            c oliver Dec 12, 2013 07:55 AM

            Thanks for expanding.

    2. paulj Dec 11, 2013 06:54 PM


      "In 2010, FDA called for a strategy to phase out production use of medically important antimicrobial products and to bring the remaining therapeutic uses under the oversight of a veterinarian. The guidance document that FDA is issuing on Dec. 11, 2013, which was previously issued in draft form in 2012, lays out such a strategy and marks the beginning of the formal implementation period.
      Flynn explains that the final guidance document made participation voluntary because it is the fastest, most efficient way to make these changes. "

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj
        sandiasingh Dec 11, 2013 07:39 PM

        Right. The only thing that will speed up the actual process is if public sentiment demands it. The public at this point is starting to pay attention but they are no where near demanding it. There is no way the FDA and pharmaceuticals are going to do it for the good of the people or the animals. They are and have been in bed together for years. This is kabuki theater.

      2. g
        GH1618 Dec 11, 2013 07:25 PM

        It's good news, in my opinion. Here's a link to the Reuters article:


        1. sandiasingh Dec 12, 2013 01:39 PM

          Since Washington can't do anything complicated, they will just make suggestions. Let's see how this unfolds.


          3 Replies
          1. re: sandiasingh
            paulj Dec 12, 2013 04:46 PM

            Here is the full FDA guidelines:
            only 17 pages long, short by government standards.

            1. re: sandiasingh
              c oliver Dec 12, 2013 05:00 PM

              "Since Washington can't do anything complicated"

              In your opinion, right? I don't happen to share that opinion.

              1. re: c oliver
                sandiasingh Dec 12, 2013 05:50 PM

                Yes, c. IMHO this is kicking the can down the road.

            2. sandiasingh Dec 13, 2013 04:04 PM

              And this from the conservative magazine, Forbes:


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