Saturday, March 28, 2015

U.S. to ban antibiotics for growth promotion

The United States intends to ban antibiotics as growth promotants by 2020.

It’s part of a five-year, $1.2-billion plan unveiled by president Barrack Obama’s administration.

The 63-page plan calls for the development of “non-traditional therapeutics, vaccines, and innovative strategies to minimize outbreaks caused by resistant bacteria in human and animal populations,” such as prebiotics and probiotics.

It also suggests that veterinarians and producers identify natural compounds with antibiotic activity, such as phytochemicals, essential oils, organic acids, animal-derived lytic enzymes and small interfering RNAs (ribonucleic acids, which are genetic messengers).

What it does not say is whether it intends to ban the routine use of antibiotics to prevent diseases. 

The antibiotic manufacturers have already said they will voluntarily withdraw their products as growth promotants, but critics have noted that they could still be used in exactly the same way by changing the wording from growth promotion to disease prevention.