The U.S. Can’t Really Know If Farmers Are Cutting Back On Antibiotics, GAO Says

The U.S. Can’t Really Know If Farmers Are Cutting Back On Antibiotics, GAO Says

This article talked about the follow up to the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) control on the regulation of antibiotics farmers give to livestock as scientists were concerned about antibiotic resistance. This was a great victory for animal welfare advocates and would change the way meat animals were raised.

However, the FDA’s plan to minimize selection of resistant microorganisms was proven ineffective by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as they state that the FDA is not collecting usage data and ultimately it is the data that would allow the FDA to know if its effort has been successful.

The article states that the FDA and USDA have not negotiated access to farms so they do not have the details about which drugs are actually used and thus, they can’t even monitor the antibiotics being given or the monitor outbreaks of drug-resistant foodbourne illnesses. GAO found that the FDA hasn’t taken into account the effect of livestock producers switching to “preventive” use of antibiotics which is still allowed and can be used to stimulate antibiotic resistance and may reduce the effectiveness of the growth-promoter ban.

 

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