The FDA wants to phase out antibiotics in meat. Regulators have released a broad plan designed to prevent meat producers from using drugs that are also used to treat sick humans. IPR's Peter Gray reports on some changes farmers and ranchers will have to get used to:
It's an increasing public health concern that consumption of drug-treated meat may be making humans less responsive to antibiotics, perhaps even spawning drug-resistant "super-bugs." The new FDA guidelines ask pharmaceutical companies to stop marketing drugs humans need to simply help pigs and cattle GROW faster. Regulators also introduced a proposal that would require veterinarians to have more oversight on drugs administered at the farm. Jim Lowe practices veterinary medicine in ten states, and says the new rules would require more paperwork but they're worth increased transparency and consumer confidence in animal agriculture.
"To purchase an antibiotic and include it in the feed, there's going to need to be some documentation and formal relationship between veterinarian, client and patient. So if there's there's no veterinary involvement today, that needs to happen.”
The government is making its guidelines "voluntary," but says companies may face regulatory action if they don't follow suit.
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