Posted on Dec 15, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on what antibiotics are given to meat that is raised for consumers. There are new concerns regarding the healthiness of meat being produced and sold in the U.S.

NBC News reports on the FDA's new guidelines.

“Many cattle, hog and poultry producers give their animals antibiotics regularly to ensure that they are healthy and to make the animals grow faster. Now, the agency has announced that it will ask pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop labeling drugs important for treating human infection as acceptable for that growth promotion in animals,” according to NBC.

The FDA wants to make the use of certain antibiotics in animals illegal.

NBC sheds light on this issue, “The FDA has been debating how to address the issue of antibiotics in meat for several years as antibiotic-resistant diseases have risen and consumers increasingly have clamored for antibiotic-free meat. McDonald's, among other companies, has moved to limit the drugs in their meat, pushing many animal producers to go along. The restaurant chain Chipotle also has tried to use meat raised without antibiotics, but has cited challenges in finding enough of it.”

The FDA expounds on the link between the use of antibiotics in animals and the health issues this causes in humans. NBC reports, “FDA officials said the move is designed to limit antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans as antibiotic resistance has become a growing public health problem. Repeated exposure to antibiotics can lead germs to become resistant to the drug so that it is no longer effective in treating a particular illness. In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released sobering estimates that more than 23,000 people a year are dying from drug-resistant infections.” One expert from the FDA told NBC, “We need to be selective about the drugs we use in animals and when we use them. Antimicrobial resistance may not be completely preventable, but we need to do what we can to slow it down."

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Gerry Oginski
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