Leading medical and public health groups have warned that the overuse of antibiotics contributes to the development of and public health threat from antibiotic resistant infections. FDA data indicate 29 million pounds of animal antibiotics are sold annually, more than fourfold the volume of human antibiotics.
The FDA could act to remove unsafe animal drugs from the market, by directly using its authority (under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act) to cancel approval for them. But that’s not the path the Agency’s taken.
In recently issued draft Guidance, the FDA instead lays out a voluntary approach for pharmaceutical companies. Essentially, the FDA asks these companies to volunteer to give up FDA approval – and therefore profits – from sale of antibiotics intended for certain routine uses that the Agency considers to be injudicious – including non-therapeutic uses like growth promotion. Pardon us if we are skeptical.
Join us in urging Dr. Hamburg, the FDA Commissioner, to take stronger action so that life-saving antibiotics will no longer be overused on industrialized farms. Act now. The deadline for FDA to receive comments is July 12th.
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