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April 2012
Policy and Advocacy
FDA Announces Voluntary Plan to Limit Antibiotic Use on the Farm

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month announced a voluntary strategy to promote the judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, a goal IDSA supports. FDA’s approach includes:

  • guidance for industry for phasing out the use of medically important drugs in animal agriculture and phasing in veterinary oversight of the remaining therapeutic uses of these drugs
  • draft guidance to assist drug companies in voluntarily removing production uses of antibiotics from their drug labels; adding scientifically supported uses where appropriate; and changing the marketing status to include veterinary oversight
  • a draft regulation outlining ways veterinarians can authorize the use of certain drugs in animal feed

IDSA is reviewing FDA’s documents and will submit comments. The plan could be a step forward in protecting public health and patient care, if the animal drug industry and food production industry follow through on voluntary commitments to comply with FDA’s guidance. The voluntary nature of the approach will require close monitoring by organizations like IDSA and others.

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