Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Antibiotic ban queried

Three United States senators think the ban on antibiotics as growth promotants does not go far enough in limiting their use in the livestock and poultry industries.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein and Kirsten Gillibrand are asking the Food and Drug Administration for more information, indicating that what they really want is a major reduction in the on-farm use of antibiotics.

In Canada, Ron Doering, the first person to serve as president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has written that the ban will likely do little to reduce antibiotic use because veterinarians will still be able to prescribe them for disease-prevention purposes.

All that will change in the words “growth promotant” to “disease prevention”.

That’s the nub of what the three senators are asking of the Food and Drug Administration.

It grappled with the issue for decades and finally announced a ban days after the major pharmaceutical companies announced they would voluntarily remove growth promotion from their antibiotic-product labels.