FDA's Efforts Fail to End Misuse of Livestock Antibiotics

Antibiotic resistance is one of the top five threats to public health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics that are important for human medicine ("medically important antibiotics") in both hospitals and livestock production is contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that put public health at risk. Critically, though, 70% of medically important antibiotics in the US are sold for livestock use, not human use. FDA has launched Guidance #213, an initiative for pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily end sales of medically important antibiotics for certain purposes in the meat and poultry industry. But Guidance 213 fails to curb the risky, routine use of antibiotics in meat and poultry production, a major contributor to the development of antibiotic resistance.