The FDA has rejected a petition to ban certain antibiotics for use in livestock that are important for the preservation of human health. The two petitions, filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Environmental Defense, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), and the Union of Concerned Scientists, were requested in 1999 and 2005, according to Food Safety News.
The FDA has announced that it will reject two petitions filed that would have banned the use of some antibiotics in livestock. Food Safety News reports:
[T]he agency cited statutory hurdles -- such as a notice to the drug maker and an evidentiary hearing on the matter -- as reason to deny the petition. "FDA cannot withdraw approval of a new animal drug until the legally-mandated process is complete."
It's very unclear what this reasoning actually entails.
Last June, the FDA released their draft guidance, The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals. The guidelines outlined the need for factory farms and food producers to limit use of "medically significant" antibiotics, important to human health. But these guidelines, which are still in draft form, merely layout the opinion of the FDA and are yet unenforcible. The FDA's guidelines critically need to be followed up with rules that make the misuse and overuse of antibiotics by food producers unlawful, protecting human health from an onslaught of antibiotic resistance.
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