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FDA restricts use of antibiotics in livestock

On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their decision to restrict the use of a certain class of antibiotics in cattle, pigs, chicken, and turkeys, reports the New York Times. Officials believe that the use of these drugs, known as cephalosporins, in livestock has contributed to the increase of bacteria that can resist treatment. These resistant superbugs that have evolved to survive antibiotic regimens can cause serious, even deadly infections in humans.

Cephalosporins, such as the brands Cefzil and Keflex, are often added to animal feed or injected into fertilized eggs in order to prevent disease and encourage growth in livestock. However, these antibiotics are also among the most common ones prescribed before surgery or to treat strep throat, bronchitis, skin infections, and urinary tract infections, according to the New York Times. Therefore, the FDA is concerned that their frequent use in livestock will have harmful consequences on their ability to control infections in humans. For those in the agricultural sector, however, this new regulation may prove burdensome.

“EMSL Analytical, Inc. has created custom testing methods for antibiotics in livestock for numerous clients, including farmers and ranchers,” states Joy DellAringa, M.S., RM (NRM), CFSP, National Food Microbiology Supervisor at EMSL. “Our dedicated account managers have a great deal of experience helping customers navigate the regulatory process and tailoring a project to their specific needs.”

by S. C.
06 january 2012, World News > America