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Antibiotics In Animal Feed Encourage Emergence Of Superbugs – FDA Sued By Health And Consumer Organizations

May 26, 2011 3 comments

medicalnewstoday
If the FDA concluded in 1977 that adding low-dose antibiotics used in human medicine to animal feed raised the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, why has it still done nothing about it? A suit filed by some health and consumer organizations says the FDA has not met its legal responsibility to protect public health – the practice of routinely adding low-dose antibiotics to animal feed has to stop, and the FDA has the authority to make it so.

Peter Lehner, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) executive director, said:

“More than a generation has passed since FDA first recognized the potential human health consequences of feeding large quantities of antibiotics to healthy animals.

Accumulating evidence shows that antibiotics are becoming less effective, while our grocery store meat is increasingly laden with drug-resistant bacteria. The FDA needs to put the American people first by ensuring that antibiotics continue to serve their primary purpose – saving human lives by combating disease.”

70% of all US antibiotic consumption is used up in adding low-doses to animal feed to make up for unsanitary living conditions and promote faster growth, according to NRDC. This practice has been steadily growing over the last six decades, despite the every-growing threat to humans of superbugs.

The antibiotic doses used in feed or water for turkeys, cows, pigs and chickens are too low to treat diseases – however, they are low enough for a significant number of bacteria to survive and build Read more…

FDA Could Kill Millions of Us

February 8, 2011 Comments off

Forbes magazine Editor in Chief Steve Forbes warns that the Food and Drug Administration’s foot-dragging on approving new antibiotics is leading to the “potential catastrophe” of a “bacterial apocalypse.”

The FDA has been making the approval of new drugs increasingly burdensome in recent years, Forbes — who was a Republican candidate for president in 1996 and 2000 — writes in a Forbes magazine editorial.

“The FDA’s behavior is no surprise to the organization’s watchers,” he says. “Approve a medication that has an unintended side effect and congressional headline-seekers will be giving officials the third degree. Better to let people die by depriving them of new medicines.”

As a result of the FDA’s foot-dragging, the pipeline for new antibiotics is drying up, according to Forbes.

Antibiotics have saved tens of millions of lives since the 1940s, but bacteria can become drug-resistant and new drugs are constantly needed to keep pace with new killer germs. But the flow of new antibiotics “has slowed to a trickle,” Forbes observes in the editorial headlined “How the FDA May Kill Millions of Us.”

One reason is that research is becoming more expensive, discouraging pharmaceutical companies from Read more…