Issue Brief

Nearly 200,000 Tell FDA to Save Antibiotics

Nearly 200,000 letters were recently submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responding to the agency's request for comments on rules governing the use of antibiotics on industrial farms. These letters made it clear to the FDA that:

  • Antibiotics are a vital foundation of public health in the United States;
  • The overuse and misuse of antibiotics has created a threatening crisis of antibiotic resistance; 
  • It is time for the federal government to ensure strict veterinary oversight and force the food animal industry to curtail the routine use of antibiotics.

Already, 70% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to healthy food animals - leading to the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria. FDA proposals could have made this problem worse.

Reflecting the view of leading scientific and health experts, the citizen comments express concern that the FDA guidance on non-judicious use of antibiotics in food animal production does not sufficiently curtail the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in animals that are not sick. Additionally, the FDA's proposed revisions to the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) guidelines could weaken veterinary oversight and controls on antibiotic use on industrial farms—increasing the rate of antibiotic resistance in humans.

Thank you for telling the FDA to save antibiotics!