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FDA: Antibiotics in Livestock Affects Human Health

Giving animals antibiotics in order to increase food production is a threat to public health and should be stopped, the FDA said today.

The federal agency says it has the power to ban the practice, but it's starting by issuing "draft guidance" in hopes the food industry will make voluntary changes. After a 60-day public comment period, the guidance will become FDA policy.

The guidance is based on two principles:

* Antibiotics should be given to food animals only to protect their health.
* All animal use of antibiotics should be overseen by veterinarians.

"We are seeing the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens," FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, MD, said at a news conference. "FDA believes overall weight of evidence supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not appropriate."
 
 

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