Texas Tech University

FDA’s Voluntary Guidance Failing To Curb Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals


December 11, 2015

Consumerist - Two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration — after decades of delay — paid lip service to the idea of reducing the use of medically important antibiotics for growth-promotion in farm animals, by asking the drug makers to voluntarily stop selling antibiotics specifically for that purpose. Critics called the FDA actions pointless while the drug and beef industries weren’t bothered in the least. And now, by the FDA’s own numbers, we can see why.

"We actually saw that resistance went up, which is not what we hypothesized," Guy Loneragan from Texas Tech recently explained to Frontline. "Our viewpoint historically has been that, sure tetracyclines aren't that important for human health so why worry about them in animal agriculture? But they may be more important than we think, not because of their use in human medicine, but because they can expand resistance to critically important drugs."

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