FDA Issues Draft Guidance on the Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobials in Food-Producing Animals

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 28, 2010

News release: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued draft guidance intended to help reduce the development of resistance to medically important antimicrobial drugs used in food-producing animals. Today’s draft guidance outlines the FDA’s current thinking on strategies to assure that antimicrobial drugs that are important for therapeutic use in humans are used judiciously in animal agriculture…The document recommends phasing in measures that would limit medically important antimicrobial drugs to uses in food-producing animals that are considered necessary for assuring animal health and that include veterinary oversight or consultation. These steps would help reduce overall use of medically important antimicrobial drugs, thereby reducing the pressure that generates antimicrobial resistance. The draft guidance summarizes a number of published reports on antimicrobial resistance and states that the overall weight of evidence available to date supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production or growth enhancing purposes (i.e., non-therapeutic or subtherapeutic uses) in food-producing animals is not in the interest of protecting and promoting the public health.”

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