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The original item was published from 4/13/2012 11:56:12 AM to 4/21/2012 12:05:00 AM.

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Agriculture News and Livestock Inspections

Posted on: April 13, 2012

[ARCHIVED] FDA asks drug companies to limit Animal Antibiotics overuse

April 12, Associated Press – (National) Animal antibiotics: FDA asks drug companies to limit overuse amid health concerns. April 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called on drug companies to help limit the use of antibiotics in farm animals, a decades-old practice that scientists say contributed to a surge in dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic drugs like penicillin are routinely mixed with animal feed and water to help livestock, pigs, and chickens put on weight and stay healthy in crowded feeding lots. Scientists warned such use leads to the growth of antibiotic-resistant germs that can be passed on to humans. Under the new FDA guidelines, the agency recommends antibiotics be used “judiciously,” or only when necessary to keep animals healthy. It also wants to require a veterinarian to prescribe the drugs. They can currently be purchased over-the-counter by farmers. The draft recommendations by the FDA are not binding, and the agency is asking drug manufacturers’ to voluntarily put the proposed limits in place. Drug companies would need to adjust the labeling of their antibiotics to remove so-called production uses of the drugs. Production uses include increased weight gain and accelerated growth, whichhelps farmers save money by reducing feed costs. The FDA hopes drugmakers will phase out language promoting non-medical uses within 3 years.

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