12/01/2011 - The Food and Drug Administration last month denied two longstanding petitions asking it to limit the routine feeding of antibiotics to farm animals, a practice that poses a serious risk to human health. Eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in this country are fed to farm animals. The drugs make the animals grow faster, but their overuse increases the likelihood of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Some antibiotics are used only in animals, but farmers are also using antibiotics vital in human medicine. This is the class of drugs that the petitions, sponsored by several consumer advocacy groups, had hoped to restrict.
Rejecting these petitions is a bad decision that runs counter to the F.D.A.’s own research.
Read the full editorial, Bad Call on Farm Drugs, on the New York Times' Web site.