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Medical News & Perspectives
July 28, 2010

FDA Targets Antibiotic Use in Livestock

JAMA. 2010;304(4):396. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1003

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken a first step toward limiting nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock production. Such use has been linked with the development of resistant microbes.

On June 28, the FDA posted a draft guidance for the livestock industry indicating that the agency no longer considers use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth in livestock a “judicious use” and is accepting public comments on the proposal for 60 days. The agency clarified that it will continue to allow use of antibiotics to treat sick animals or to prevent the spread of disease; however, going forward, it will expect such therapeutic uses to be overseen by a veterinarian (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AnimalVeterinary/GuidanceComplianceEnforcement/GuidanceforIndustry/UCM216936.pdf).