In the first progress report on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) strategy to curb antibiotic use in animals, the FDA announced that all 26 drug companies have agreed to phase-out use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals (growth promotion).
The FDA said all 26 companies have agreed to “fully engage in the strategy by phasing out other use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals for food production purposes and phasing in the oversight of a veterinarian for the remaining therapeutic uses of such drugs.”
However, critics of the industry said more needs to be done. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said, “It would take an extraordinary leap of faith to believe that asking pharmaceutical companies to change the labeling on packages of antibiotics will result in a tangible reduction of antibiotic overuse on the farm.”
Slaughter is the sponsor of legislation that would ban the use of antibiotics for animals except for treatment when the animal is sick. Companies have until December 2016 to make the changes to their products. The FDA plans to issue a progress report every six months.