"Only 20% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to people who are sick with bacterial infections, such as ear and urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Most of the penicillin, tetracycline and other antibiotic drugs used in this country are given to livestock that are perfectly healthy.
Farmers have been putting these medicines in animal feed since the 1950s. They say the drugs help protect herds from infectious diseases and help animals grow faster.
But for at least 40 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been concerned that the widespread practice may be fueling the growth of human pathogens that are no longer vulnerable to doctors' front-line drugs.
In finally dropping its long-stalled plans to limit the use of penicillin and tetracycline in farm animals, the FDA signaled that it intends 'to regulate more than just a few drugs,' said Laura Rogers, who directs the Pew Charitable Trusts' campaign on human health and industrial farming. Seen in that light, last week's ruling limiting the use of cephalosporin antibiotics in agriculture 'is the first step toward a broader regulatory approach,' she said. (The Pew campaign opposes routine use of antibiotics in food animals.)"
- Date added:
- Jan 9, 2012
- Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming
- Antibiotics in Food Animal Production
- Related Expert:
- Laura Rogers
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