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Dec 11, 2013 03:34 PM

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.

"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."

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  1. "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

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

        1. re: c oliver

          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.


      "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

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

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: sandiasingh

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

            1. re: sandiasingh

              "Since Washington can't do anything complicated"

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

              1. re: c oliver

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