Pew Calls for Changes in FDA’s Antibiotics Policy

Pew Charitable Trusts released a report in which it claims “gaps” or “loopholes” in the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Guidance 213 on use of antibiotics for growth promotion. According to the report, Pew reviewed the labels of all 287 antibiotic products identified as being affected by Guidance 213.

Pew looked where there was overlap between antibiotics approved for growth promotion and disease prevention. Pew said that nearly 25% of the “drugs can be used in at least one species of livestock for disease prevention at levels that are fully within the range of growth promotion dosages and with no limit on the duration of treatment.”

Pew recommended the following to the FDA:

  • Provide a detailed plan and timeline for monitoring and publicly reporting total antibiotic use in food animals, including estimates of use by species and by purpose (growth promotion, disease prevention, disease control and disease treatment).
  • Establish a clear target for reduction of total antibiotic use in food animals.
  • Outline a process and timeline for reviewing the adequacy of disease prevention label claims to ensure that they effectively prevent bacterial infection and are not used any longer than necessary.
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