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New FDA guidelines seek to limit antibiotic use in livestock

The FDA is on the move. They’ve just rolled out draft guidance aiming to pin down how long antibiotics can be used in the feed of animals we get our food from. Critics have long pointed fingers at the FDA for not being proactive about judicious antibiotic use in livestock. 

A considerable chunk, about one-third, of crucial antibiotics for food animals don’t have a usage time cap. This lets farmers use them continually to ward off diseases, which some argue is a band-aid for subpar living conditions causing illnesses in the first place. 

Overusing these key antibiotics can make them less effective due to antibiotic resistance, affecting both human and animal treatments. Some folks believe there should be a 21-day cap on such antibiotic use. 

A few years ago, in 2018, the FDA’s vet medicine center vowed to focus on setting these limits. The guidance in question zooms in on antibiotics in animal feed since others already have established limits. The FDA is guiding drug makers on tweaking how and when a drug can be used to combat diseases in animals. 

Even though it’s a voluntary move, the FDA believes it can keep these drugs working effectively and lower the risk of antibiotic resistance by reducing exposure. 

Public comments on this draft guidance are welcome until December 26. So, let’s keep an eye on this and see how it unfolds for our animal pals and, in turn, for us all. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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