Antibiotic-resistant diseases are depriving Americans of good health every year, with 23,000 people dying from diseases that were untreatable because antibiotics failed to work.
This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sprang into action – 30 or so years into this growing problem — to take aim at a major culprit, perhaps the major culprit, the livestock producers who routinely administer antibiotics to make animals…
The Centers for Disease Control has clearly tagged animal producers as one source of the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In a new report, the public health agency explains that antibiotics used to help livestock grow larger are unleashing dangerous bacteria on the world.
The FDA’s call to the livestock industry to voluntarily limit its routine use of antibiotics is tantamount to taking no action, say critics of the FDA’s plan, announced Wednesday.
The agency “is pretending to act while barely acting at all,” said Avinash Kar, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, who was among several public health advocates who scoffed at the idea that pharmaceutical and livestock companies would change their ways in response to government advice that carries no penalties.
A federal ruling that the Food and Drug Administration must act to control the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed has raised hopes that new stricter rules for these drugs could help preserve them for fighting human diseases.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit by environmental and public health groups that have pleaded with the FDA to address antibiotic overuse in the livestock industry. The groups cited studies showing that the routine and daily administration of antibiotics to animals is triggering “super bugs” resistant to antibiotics.