The FDA last week has banned some drugs in foods such as chicken, turkey, cattle and swine as ensuring the antibiotic drugs remain effective in people. The ban takes effect April 5, 2012. Since 2001 the American Medical Association went on record opposing the routine feeding of medically important antibiotics to livestock and poultry. It has taken over a decade for this ban to happen.
Some medical experts are saying the ban does not go far enough as the new order doesn’t limit the use of cephapirin, an older cephalosporin drug, and veterinarians can still prescribe cephalosporins for limited extra-label use as long as they follow the proper dosing instructions. But some livestock groups said there’s no proof the practice is associated with resistance in humans.
Almost 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. in 2010 were for use in food animals, mostly to promote growth and prevent disease, leading to antibiotic resistance in people, according to Keep Antibiotics Working. (is a coalition of health, consumer, agricultural, environmental, humane and other advocacy groups with more than eleven million members dedicated to eliminating a major cause of antibiotic resistance: the inappropriate use of antibiotics in food animals.)
Medical experts have been warning this has become a public health crisis as everyone is at risk from antibiotic-resistant infections, but children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
According to the CDC people infected with antibiotic-resistant infections are more likely to have longer, more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to die from it. These infections include MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and E. coli.
Do you think the FDA went far enough with this ban?