The FDA has issued new voluntary guidelines on Wednesday suggesting that livestock should only be treated with antibiotics to cure illness, not to enable growth. The decision comes in response to an increase in antibiotic-resistant that are affecting humans.
"This is without question the most sweeping reform the agency has taken in 35 years," said Laura Rogers a project director for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming. "It would be great if it wasn't voluntary, but that just means we are going to have to hold the agency's feet to the fire to make sure the drug companies are going to adhere to the new rules."
And while some advocates for antibiotic-free meat are celebrating the FDA's decision, other says that it doesn't go nearly far enough.
"This is a step in the right direction, but much more must be done. Antibiotic-resistant diseases now kill more Americans than AIDS and this issue needs to be treated with the seriousness it deserves," said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-D). "Nonbinding recommendations' are not a strong enough antidote to the problem."
A formal ban would have required individual hearings for each drug, which could take decades, according to FDA officials.
by RTT Staff Writer
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