Turkeys drive Congress to antibiotic action

Turkeys provided the catalyst that Congress needed to crack its legislative whip on the FDA.  It wants action on antibiotics, and it wants it quickly.

In a letter to the FDA, 7 Democratic legislators recommend speedy progress on pending regulations and guidance to help preserve the efficacy of antibiotics--particularly those used in food animal production--for human health. 

The letter identified the agency's work on the draft guidance 209 document, The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals. "We recommend that you strengthen the Guidance, finalize it quickly, and move on to regulations. Given the rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens, we cannot wait any longer for the finalization of the Guidance," the letter says, according to Food Safety News

The guidance was released last summer and recommended the use of antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals be limited to cases considered necessary for assuring animal health. A second recommendation was that their use be limited to cases that include veterinary oversight or consultation.

The agency is reviewing the comments received in working to finalize the document.

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