In 1977, thirty-five years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed banning the use of penicillin and two forms of tetracycline for animal growth promotion. This was a proposal and no further action and no hearings until May 2011 when the National Resources Defense Council and other consumer, health and advocacy groups decided to sue FDA.
A federal district court in Manhattan ruled in favor of the plaintiffs last week forcing FDA to go ahead with its plan and start the proceedings that could lead to a withdrawal of the drugs.
Some antibiotics given to people are widely used on animals to promote disease prevention and weight gain. Farms and ranches may have overcrowded conditions and the antibiotics compensate. The issue is the overuse of the antibiotic drug resistant “superbugs” in the livestock and that it can spread to the people working or eating with them.
Chalk one up for consumer advocacy.