Source: Medical News Today
If the FDA concluded in 1977 that adding low-dose antibiotics used in human medicine to animal feed raised the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, why has it still done nothing about it? A suit filed by some health and consumer organizations says the FDA has not met its legal responsibility to protect public health – the practice of routinely adding low-dose antibiotics to animal feed has to stop, and the FDA has the authority to make it so.
Peter Lehner, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) executive director, said:
“More than a generation has passed since FDA first recognized the potential human health consequences of feeding large quantities of antibiotics to healthy animals.
Accumulating evidence shows that antibiotics are becoming less effective, while our grocery store meat is increasingly laden with drug-resistant bacteria. The FDA needs to put the American people first by ensuring that antibiotics continue to serve their primary purpose – saving human lives by combating disease.”
70% of all US antibiotic consumption is used up in adding low-doses to animal feed to make up for unsanitary living conditions and promote faster growth, according to NRDC. This practice has been steadily growing over the last six decades, despite the every-growing threat to humans of superbugs.
The antibiotic doses used in feed or water for turkeys, cows, pigs and chickens are too low to treat diseases – however, they are low enough for a significant number of bacteria to survive and build up resistance. These antibiotics, such as penicillin and tetracyclines, are used to treat humans too.
Health and consumer organizations are demanding to know why the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) came to the same conclusion regarding the antibiotic resistance threat a long time ago, but did not act on its findings.