After coming to the conclusion that farmers have gone a little hog-wild with their use of antimicrobials — not to cure animals of disease, but to spur animal growth — the FDA has kindly asked them to cut it out because it’s just going to make the rest of us sicker.
According to the FDA, “the overall weight of evidence available to date supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production or growth enhancing purposes (i.e., non-therapeutic or subtherapeutic uses) in food-producing animals is not in the interest of protecting and promoting the public health.”
The agency’s biggest concern is that the overuse of these antibiotics is causing the bacteria and other disease-causing agents to develop resistant strains, thereby negating the drugs’ effectiveness.
“This is an urgent public health issue,” said a deputy commissioner from the FDA. “To preserve the effectiveness [of antibiotics], we simply must use them as judiciously as possible.”
The FDA has issued a draft of its plan to curb the unnecessary use of antibiotics. The public — along with the pharma and farm lobbies — have 60 days to give their feedback.
Regulators are hoping they can get the ball rolling on their plan without too much of a fight:
We have the regulatory mechanisms, and industry knows that… We also think things can be done voluntarily. We’re not handcuffed to the steering wheel of a particular strategy, but I’m not ruling out anything that we can do to establish these important public-health goals.
Not surprisingly, the National Pork Council — taking time away from going after sellers of canned unicorn meat — has basically told the FDA to shove it.
Says a guy who really loves the other white meat:
Show us the science that use of antibiotics in animal production is causing this antibiotic resistance… How do we know [the problem] is not on the human side? Where is the science for you to go forward on this?
He could ask those commie bastards in the European Union, who banned the non-medical use of antibiotics in livestock in 2006.