FDA seeks input on judicious use of medically important antimicrobials

FDA seeks input on judicious use of medically important antimicrobials; producers win appeal versus EPA; WTO complaint filed against China subsidies; large corn and soybean crops projected.

P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

September 19, 2016

3 Min Read
FDA seeks input on judicious use of medically important antimicrobials

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comments regarding the establishment of targeted durations for the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs for therapeutic purposes administered in feed or water for food-producing animals. FDA wants to obtain additional information on:

♦ The underlying diseases requiring these drugs for therapeutic purposes, and periods when livestock or poultry are at risk of developing these diseases;

♦ More targeted antimicrobial-use regimens for these diseases and husbandry practices that may help avoid the need for these antimicrobials, or that may help make more targeted antimicrobial use regimens more effective; and

♦ Strategies for updating affected labeling of drug products that do not currently include a defined duration of use.

Earlier, FDA issued Guidance 213 which when implemented would limit the use of drugs to therapeutic-only use under the oversight of a veterinarian.

Court rules against EPA on releasing producer information
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis recently ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency saying that it violated the Freedom of Information Act by releasing personal information including telephone numbers and email addresses of owners of concentrated animal feeding operations.

In 2015, a U.S. district court dismissed the case brought against the EPA by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau for lack of standing. The Circuit Court of St. Louis ruled the “associations have established a concrete and particularized injury in fact traceable to the EPA’s action and redressable by judicial relief.” NPPC says, “EPA’s release of sensitive, private and personal materials on more than 100,000 farmers and ranchers was an outrageous abuse of its power and trust.” The case now goes back to the district court.

U.S. files WTO complaint against China regarding subsidies
The administration filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over China’s “excessive government support” provided for Chinese production of corn, wheat and rice. The complaint challenge’s China’s use of “market price support” for the three crops in excess of China’s commitment under WTO rules. The administration estimates that China’s support for these crops is nearly $100 billion in excess of the levels China committed to during its accession to the WTO.

President Obama in a statement says, “China’s government has set prices for wheat, corn and rice well above market levels, which has led to unfair government subsidies that are in violation of WTO rules. These unfairly distorted prices on important crops led to overproduction in China and disadvantage American farmers who export these same crops around the world.” Members of the House and Senate joined USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative in making the announcement.

USDA confirms large corn and soybean crop
USDA’s latest 2016 crop projections, “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates,” continues to show record corn and soybean production for this year’s crop. USDA is estimating the corn crop at 15.093 billion bushels, down from last month’s projection of 15.153 billion bushels, but still 11% above last year’s crop. The forecast for average yield is 174.4 bushels per acre compared to the previous estimate of 175.1 bushels per acre. This is 6 bushels per acre higher than 2015. USDA estimates corn prices in a range of $2.90 to $3.50 per bushel for the crop year.

Soybeans are estimated to set a record of 4.2 billion bushels. This is a 7% increase over 2015. USDA estimates the average yield at 50.6 bushels per acre. This would be a record if achieved. USDA estimates soybean prices in a range of $8.30 to $9.30 per bushel. 

About the Author(s)

P. Scott Shearer

Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.

Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.

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