FDA To Hold Public Meeting, Seek Comments On Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

FDA To Hold Public Meeting, Seek Comments On Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

For decades, livestock farmers inadvertently encouraged the development of drug-resistant bacteria by providing a continuous stream of medically unnecessary antibiotics to their cows, pigs, and chickens — primarily to end up with bigger animals — while the Food and Drug Administration kept the issue on the back-burner. Meanwhile, antibiotic-resistant pathogens sicken more than two million people in the U.S. each year, resulting in at least 23,000 deaths. Now that everyone from consumers to lawmakers to public health advocates to McDonald’s and even Walmart are starting to care about the topic, the FDA is starting to listen. [More]

(Photo: Consumerist)

Wendy’s Finally Begins Testing Antibiotic-Free Chicken

More than a year after Chick fil-A began its transition away from drugged-up chickens, and months after McDonald’s announced its plans to eventually go the antibiotic-free route, Wendy’s — the one major burger chain with ads that tout its better, more natural ingredients — is finally dipping its toes into the no-antibiotics pool. [More]

(Chris Goldberg)

Perdue Says Half Its Chickens Now Raised Without Any Antibiotics At All

Almost a year ago, Perdue — one of the biggest names in chicken — announced its hatcheries would cease using antibiotics that were medically important to human beings, and today the company said that it has reached a milestone in the move to curb the dangerous overuse of these vital drugs, claiming that more than half of its birds are now being raised without the use of any sort of antibiotics at all. [More]

Groups Call On Subway’s Sandwich Artists To Use Antibiotic-Free Meat In Their Masterpieces

Groups Call On Subway’s Sandwich Artists To Use Antibiotic-Free Meat In Their Masterpieces

With major fast food chains like McDonald’s, Chick fil-A, Chipotle, and Panera all now sourcing at least some meat that wasn’t raised using medically important antibiotics, a coalition of some 50 consumer and health advocacy groups are asking Subway, the fast food chain with the most stores in the U.S., to give drug-free meat a try. [More]

Bernard Walker

White House Makes Push For Private Sector To Help Curb Dangerous Overuse Of Antibiotics

Today at the White House, representatives for some 150 organizations, including Consumer Reports, and private companies gathered for a forum on how to rein in the rampant, and potentially deadly, overuse of antibiotics in everything from hospitals to farm animals. [More]

Foster Farms, Company Behind Salmonella Outbreak, To Cut Down On Antibiotics It Shoves Down Chickens’ Throats

Foster Farms, Company Behind Salmonella Outbreak, To Cut Down On Antibiotics It Shoves Down Chickens’ Throats

Foster Farms is one of the country’s largest poultry, cranking out millions of birds each week. It’s also the company behind a recent outbreak of drug-resistant salmonella that sickened more than 600 people in 29 states. Today, the company has changed its antibiotics policies so that its chickens will no longer be fed medically unnecessary drugs. [More]

(Kyle Herzig)

Walmart To Require Meat Suppliers Provide Data On Antibiotics Use

Antibiotics used on farm animals account for more than 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S., and many of these drugs are medically important to the health of human beings. The overuse of antibiotics results in the development of drug-resistant pathogens, thus making the antibiotics less effective and requiring more potent drugs. Some of the nation’s biggest buyers of meat are making the switch toward purchasing antibiotic-free meat (or meat that is only given drugs not deemed medically important to humans), and today Walmart said it will begin collecting and sharing data on the antibiotics used by its meat suppliers. [More]

(Teresa RS)

New FDA Rule Would Provide More Information About Antibiotics In Farm Animals, But Still Not Enough

After decades of inaction on the issue, the FDA is slowly taking actions that it hopes will curb the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, which currently accounts for around 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. The agency’s latest measure, if approved, will provide more information about how farmers are using these medically important drugs, but by the FDA’s own admission, it’s still not sufficient. [More]

FDA Finally Warns Drug Company Against Selling Antibiotic As A Pig-Fattener

FDA Finally Warns Drug Company Against Selling Antibiotic As A Pig-Fattener

A year after public health advocates called out drug maker Novartis for continuing to actively market a particular antibiotic as a product farmers could use to fatten up their pigs, the FDA has finally gotten around to issuing a warning. [More]

FDA: Antibiotic Use In Farm Animals Grew In Spite Of Regulation

FDA: Antibiotic Use In Farm Animals Grew In Spite Of Regulation

Back in 2012, the FDA banned “extra-label” non-medical use in animals for the cephalosporin class of antibiotics, which are commonly used to treat humans for pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and other maladies. Not only did this restriction fail to curb the use of cephalosporins, but a new FDA report shows that the drug use increased following the ban. [More]

(kreezzalee)

White House Acknowledges Health Risk Of Antibiotics Overuse; Critics Say It Fails To Fully Address Problem

In a new White House report on antibiotic resistance, the Obama administration acknowledges the serious public health risk posed by the over-prescription and overuse of antibiotics, and details multi-agency plans to combat the problem. However, many critics of the report say that these plans fail to close a loophole that will allow farmers to continue using medically unnecessary antibiotics on farm animals (who consume 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S.) primarily for the purpose of growth promotion. [More]

Survey: Overwhelming Majority Of U.S. Doctors Seeing Patients With Drug-Resistant Illnesses

(Emily)

While the pharmaceuticals industry and some livestock farmers and veterinarians still contend that there isn’t yet definitive proof that the overuse of antibiotics is leading to the development and spread of drug-resistant bacteria, a new survey of American doctors found that there is nearly universal concern among doctors about this issue, and that many physicians have treated patients with drug-resistant infections in just the last year. [More]

Frontline

9 Things You Need To Know From Frontline Investigation Of Antibiotics & Animals

Last night, PBS’ Frontline aired a report on the huge amount of antibiotics that farmers pump into animal feed and the effects that this practice has on the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of Americans and make millions more sick every year. [More]

(Photo: Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation)

FDA: Use Of Vital Human Antibiotics In Animals Increased 16% In 3 Years

Even as a growing number of people — from consumers to scientists to physicians — expressed concerns about the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed, a new FDA report shows that farmers continued adding more drugs to their animals’ diets, and that almost every one of those antibiotics was purchased and administered without a prescription. [More]

Tyson may have decided to stop feeding antibiotics to birds at hatcheries, but it's still using the drugs for "disease prevention" at chicken farms.

Tyson Decides To Feed Slightly Fewer Drugs To Its Chickens

When it comes to reducing the enormous amount of antibiotics being fed to animals solely for growth-promotion, just about any news is good news. So we welcome today’s announcement from Tyson that it will cease using antibiotics in its hatcheries, but still have concerns about the drugs being fed to birds once they leave the hatchery. [More]

White House Acknowledges Over-Use Of Antibiotics In Farm Animals, Shrugs

(Patrick Dockens)

Last year, the FDA released voluntary guidance for the pharmaceutical industry, which sells 80% of all antibiotics in the U.S. to farmers, primarily because they promote growth in animals. That guidance asked drug companies to please stop selling antibiotics for that purpose, but allows them to keep selling just as many drugs for “disease prevention,” even though it’s been proven that continuous, low-dose use of antibiotics renders their medical use less effective and contributes to the development of drug-resistant pathogens. Today, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued a report that some had hoped would recommend the FDA take a harder line on this issue. Those people are probably a bit disappointed. [More]

Big Meat & Big Pharma Pleased As Punch With FDA’s Pointless New Antibiotic Guidelines

Big Meat & Big Pharma Pleased As Punch With FDA’s Pointless New Antibiotic Guidelines

Yesterday, the FDA came out swinging (with a Wiffle ball bat) against the medically unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal feed (by politely asking the drug companies that make piles of cash off these drugs to please stop selling so many of them to farmers just to encourage tissue growth). To demonstrate just how weak this (in)action is, one need look no further than the enthusiastic response from the nation’s huge meat and drug companies. [More]

Your hand tastes nice, but it could use a twist of amoxicillin... (afagen)

FDA Politely Asks Drug Companies To Voluntarily Stop Providing Antibiotics For Animal Feed

In the face of numerous reports indicating that the practice of using medically unnecessary antibiotics to bulk up farm animals is leading to millions of people getting sick each year from drug-resistant pathogens, the Food & Drug Administration drew a line in the sand today and put an end to the practi– oh wait, I meant that the FDA has politely asked drug companies to voluntarily phase out sales of these drugs to farmers. [More]