In a bid to stem a surge in human resistance to certain antibiotics, the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced new guidelines to try to phase out the overuse of antibiotics as a growth enhancer in livestock.
Many cattle, hog and poultry producers give their animals antibiotics to prevent illness and make the animals grow faster. Now, the FDA says it will ask pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop labeling antibiotics that are important for treating human infection as acceptable for that growth promotion in animals.
If drug companies sign on — and one has already said it will — using those antibiotics to promote growth in animals would be illegal. Prescriptions would be required to use the drugs for animal illnesses.
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