FDA Warns on Animal Antibiotics

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday took its first steps to roll out a plan to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock for food production. The move, which is a voluntary plan in conjunction with industry, was widely criticized by food-safety advocates who wanted a more forceful plan to address what they see as a growing crisis. The fear is that the wide use of antibiotics in animals, which is to help them gain weight faster and on less food, is leading to anti-biotic resistant “superbugs.” The FDA’s new recommendations to pharmaceutical companies ask them to voluntarily change labeling and directions to curb usage for animal weight gain. Critics argue that the companies will just switch from using them for weight gain, to so-called disease prevention.