09/08/2011 - The agriculture spending bill that Senate appropriators unanimously approved Wednesday directs regulators to hurry up with their recommendations for limiting the use of antibiotics in farm animals.
The Food and Drug Administration last year issued draft guidance recommending that farmers stop using antibiotics to produce more and bigger poultry and livestock after concluding that the practice has contributed to an increase in drug resistance that "poses a serious public health threat." Farming and drug industry interests oppose restrictions, however, and a year later the controversial voluntary guidance is still in the works.
Gail Hansen, senior officer for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, praised the bill's language.
"We applaud the Senate for making this a priority," she said via e-mail. "The recent drug-resistant Salmonella outbreak that sickened 110 people and killed one shows that FDA action on antibiotics in food animal production is long overdue."
Read the full article Senate Panel Wants Quick FDA Action on Drug-Resistant Diseases on the Hill's Web site.