Judge: FDA must act to remove antibiotics from animal feed
how will this court order effect your operation ??????????????-----------------------dave----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge on Thursday ordered regulators to start proceedings to withdraw approval for the use of common antibiotics in animal feed, citing concerns that overuse is endangering human health by creating antibiotic-resistant "superbugs".
U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin proceedings unless makers of the drugs can produce evidence that their use is safe.
If they can't, then the FDA must withdraw approval for non-therapeutic use of those drugs, the judge ruled.
The FDA had started such proceedings in 1977, prompted by its concerns the widespread use in livestock feed of certain antibiotics - particularly tetracyclines and penicillin, the most common. But the proceedings were never completed and the approval remained in place.
"In the intervening years, the scientific evidence of the risks to human health from the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock has grown, and there is no evidence that the FDA has changed its position that such uses are not shown to be safe," Katz wrote.
The lawsuit was filed by environmental and public-health groups including The Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Union of Concerned Scientists in the Manhattan federal court in May.
The plaintiffs argued that using common antibiotics in livestock feed has contributed to the rapid growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in both animals and humans.
Antibiotic-resistant infections cost Americans more than $20 billion each year, the plaintiffs said, citing a 2009 study from the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and Cook County Hospital.
In his ruling, Katz ordered the FDA to follow through on the process it started in 1977 but only formally abandoned in December last year. The FDA said the proceedings were outdated and that it intended to pursue other regulatory strategies for coping with potential food-safety problems.
"The FDA has not issued a single statement since the issuance of the 1977 (notices) that undermines the original findings that the drugs have not been shown to be safe," Katz wrote.
The FDA could not be immediately reached for comment outside regular business hours on Thursday.
The case is Natural Resources Defense Council et al. v. FDA, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, no. 11-3562.
Don't know any facts about this issue other than last fall we lost a lady locally that had some infection that no antibiotics would control. If overuse is the blame, it hasn't just been limited to animal feed but humans as well. imo.
I agree, every one goes to the doctor and wants a shot or pill. The DR. gives them what they want, whether it will help or not.
Nobody gives an animal medicine that is unneeded as it is to expensive to do.
WTF!!!!! I like two headed snakes, six legged frogs and eating fish with listeria! This world is going to hell in a hand basket, we just cannot have any fun anymore. Do you really want to see an open air sewer, try the Des Moines River in Iowa, where all the animal waste coming off CAFO's North of the River which continue and are dumping thousands of tons of antibiotics and animal waste into the biggest sewer in Iowa.
The biggest joke in Iowa is that someone would give serious consideration of going on a vacation in this state! Adios Amigos. John
Court orders FDA to review antibiotic use in livestock
By Todd Sperry, CNN
updated 12:00 PM EDT, Sat March 24, 2012
The FDA says it will study the order
Beef producers are disappointed, say use of antibiotics is "judicious"
Treating livestock with antibiotics may pose risks to human health
Washington (CNN) -- The Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it was studying a federal judge's order that it consider withdrawing two popular antibiotics from use in livestock.
In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz said that the FDA must issue notices to drug manufacturers that the drugs will be withdrawn unless the companies can prove they're safe. Katz didn't issue a full ban -- suggesting the manufacturers should be given a hearing to make their case.
The suit was originally brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which argued that the FDA has allowed livestock producers to use popular antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline in feed for more than 30 years for purposes other than treatment of illnesses.
The NRDC claims "the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal feed can lead to the growth and spread of drug-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people." Antibiotic resistant bacteria are fast-moving, can be deadly, and can infect otherwise healthy individuals.
In its statement, the FDA said, "We are studying the opinion and considering appropriate next steps."
Thursday's ruling can be traced back to decisions the FDA made more than 30 years ago. In 1977, the FDA announced plans to withdraw approval of some antibiotics used in livestock feed. The drugs have been used by livestock producers to help promote growth and feed efficiency.
At the time, the FDA found the practice of using antibiotics for non-medical reasons unsafe. Drug manufacturers requested hearings, but the FDA never scheduled meetings and nothing else was done. The approval remained in place.
In subsequent years, new medical evidence suggested that treating livestock with antibiotics increased risks to human health. But according to the judge's ruling, the FDA never changed its position.
In May, two petitions circulated urging the FDA to finish what it started in 1977. When the FDA didn't respond, the NRDC filed suit.
In December, the FDA withdrew the original 1977 notices saying they were outdated.
The suit alleged that the FDA's failure to withdraw approval of penicillin and tetracycline after the 1977 research was unlawful and violated the administrative procedure act.
According to the NRDC, 80% of antibiotics used in the United States is used in livestock. The group also says 29.8 million pounds of antibiotics were used in livestock in 2009, up dramatically from the previous decade.
Meanwhile, the ruling isn't sitting well with beef producers. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association noted its dissent in a statement saying its members were "disappointed with the decision," and that practices include the "judicious use of antibiotics to prevent, control and treat any cattle health issues."
If drug manufacturers fail to show that using the antibiotics in livestock is safe, the FDA commissioner must issue a withdrawal order. But the judge noted that if the drugs are deemed safe, the FDA cannot withdraw them from use.