HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Limiting Use of Antibiotics in Food Animal Production After Recall of 36 Million Pounds of Turkey Containing Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella

Finding antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in ground turkey prompted Cargill's 36 million pound turkey recall. It also triggered a new sense of urgency on the part of lawmakers to encourage the FDA take action on  a draft guidance, "The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals," otherwise known as "Guidance #209."

Previously blogged about here and here, recent estimates indicate around 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. are given to food animals causing a huge and growing problem with antibiotic resistant bacteria. According to Food Safety News,

Guidance #209, as it was released last summer, recommends two principles: (1) The use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals should be limited to those uses that are considered necessary for assuring animal health, and (2) The use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals should be limited to those uses that include veterinary oversight or consultation.

The letter from the lawmakers urges that the FDA make "speedy progress forward" on Guidance #209 regulations to help preserve the efficacy of antibiotics for human health:

We recommend that you strengthen Guidance #209, finalize it quickly, and move on to regulations. Given the rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens, we cannot wait any longer for the finalization of Guidance #209. 

[KVT]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2011/08/democratic-lawmakers-urge-fda-to-act-on-use-of-antibiotics-food-animal-production-in-wake-of-antibio.html

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