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FDA targets unlimited antibiotic use in food animals
USAgNet - 09/28/2023

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is stepping up. They’ve just released a draft guidance on how long antibiotics should be used in the feed of animals that are raised for food. This is a big deal because critics have said the FDA has been a bit slow in ensuring antibiotics are used wisely in animals.

About one-third of essential antibiotics used for these animals have no time limit for use. This means that farmers can keep using them for a long time to prevent diseases. Some people say this is just making up for the not-so-great living conditions that make animals sick.

So, why does this matter to us? Well, using too many important antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. This means that these medicines might not work as well for both humans and animals in the future. Some groups think the FDA should put a limit of 21 days on using these antibiotics.

Back in 2018, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said they would make setting these limits a priority. This new guidance is all about the antibiotics used in animal feed, as other forms already have set limits. The FDA wants to help drug companies revise how and when a drug should be used for treating, controlling, or preventing diseases in animals.

Although following this guidance is voluntary, the FDA hopes it will help continue the effective use of these drugs and reduce antibiotic exposure. This is crucial for preventing the development of antibiotic resistance.

The public comment period on the draft guidance is open until December 26. So, let’s stay informed and see how this turns out for our furry and feathery friends, and ultimately, for us.

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