Court Orders FDA to Review Antibiotic Use in Livestock
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it was studying a federal judge’s order that it consider withdrawing two popular antibiotics from use in livestock.
In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz said that the FDA must issue notices to drug manufacturers that the drugs will be withdrawn unless the companies can prove they’re safe. Katz didn’t issue a full ban — suggesting the manufacturers should be given a hearing to make their case.
The suit was originally brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which argued that the FDA has allowed livestock producers to use popular antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline in feed for more than 30 years for purposes other than treatment of illnesses.
The NRDC claims “the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal feed can lead to the growth and spread of drug-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people.” Antibiotic resistant bacteria are fast-moving, can be deadly, and can infect otherwise healthy individuals.
In its statement, the FDA said, “We are studying the opinion and considering appropriate next steps.”