January 9, 2012 |
Only 20% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to people who are sick with bacterial infections, such as ear and urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Most of the penicillin, tetracycline and other antibiotic drugs used in this country are given to livestock that are perfectly healthy. Farmers have been putting these medicines in animal feed since the 1950s. They say the drugs help protect herds from infectious diseases and help animals grow faster. But for at least 40 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been concerned that the widespread practice may be fueling the growth of human pathogens that are no longer vulnerable to doctors' front-line drugs.
January 4, 2012 |
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited some unapproved uses of antibiotics in livestock on Wednesday. Farmers will no longer be able to administer a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins to cattle, pigs, chicken and turkeys in unapproved doses or frequencies, or as a means of preventing disease, the agency said. Also prohibited: using drugs not originally intended for use in livestock. Some limited extra-label use will still be permitted, including prescription drugs in less-commonly eaten animals such as rabbits and ducks.
September 21, 2010 |
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel debated Monday whether to endorse the safety of genetically engineered salmon, but instead urged the agency to require more studies to demonstrate the fish's safety. The North Atlantic salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. of Waltham, Mass., would be the country's first genetically engineered food animal. The Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee did not vote on the FDA's preliminary findings that the fish was safe for people to eat and did not pose a significant environmental risk.
November 24, 2008 |
Turkeys, like other animals, get sick. And though few dispute that they should then be treated, many scientists, medical professionals and animal experts are concerned that too much medicine is being given to too many turkeys -- and to too many food animals in general. "The use and misuse are rampant," says Bill Niman, founder of Niman Ranch in Northern California and a member of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. Those concerned fear serious human health consequences -- development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria -- and that this is already beginning to happen.
March 9, 2007
Re "Cloned beef: It's what's for dinner," March 4 This article presents the happy outcomes while minimizing the focus on the objections. For many, cloning one's foods is significantly different from such activities as stem cell research, which may be used to mitigate human suffering. Also, while the foods may be safe and identical, on a molecular or nutritional level, there is still a moral repugnance to this fare. Finally, the biggest objection may be that the government is willing to "stuff this down our throats" whether we approve or not. I am troubled by the Food and Drug Administration's position that there would be no need to label the cloned meats as such, depriving the marketplace of making a choice based on its own moral or ethical codes and of the opportunity to vote with its pocketbook.
April 24, 2006 |
AVOIDING the use of antibiotics in food animals appears to reduce drug resistance in humans, according to a study published online last week in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study involved the use of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones in Australian poultry. Australia restricts use of the antibiotics in animal husbandry because the practice is thought to contribute to drug resistance in people who contract bacterial infections from eating contaminated food.