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U.S. PIRG Statement on the Food and Drug Administration's Preview of Plans to Reduce Antibiotic Use in Agriculture
Today, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. released a statement previewing the agency's 5-year plan to address antibiotic misuse in agriculture. While the plan includes some important objectives, including setting limits on how long medically-important antibiotics can be used in food-producing animals and increased data collection efforts, the agency will continue to allow the routine use of medically-important antibiotics to prevent disease -- a practice the World Health Organization is pushing to end because it can breed drug-resistant bacteria.
In response, Matt Wellington, Antibiotics Program Director for U.S. PIRG, released the following statement:
"It’s disappointing that the FDA will continue to allow meat producers to routinely dose healthy animals with medically-important antibiotics. Any meaningful strategy to reduce antibiotic use and stem the spread of bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections should include an end to this practice.
"About a third of the products containing medically-important antibiotics approved for use in food-producing animals, via feed or water, can be used with no duration limit.That allows for continuous antibiotic use, which can breed drug-resistant bacteria. Although it’s important and encouraging that the FDA plans to address the problem, it should take much more aggressive steps than the voluntary approach previewed in their statement.”
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