By this time everybody knows—or ought to—that the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animals is a threat to human health.
Using antibiotics to promote animal growth or reduce feed requirements is a bad idea. Widespread use of these drugs induces microbial resistance, making the antibiotics ineffective against human disease.
So you would think that public health agencies would be falling all over themselves trying to reduce antibiotic use in farm animals. No such luck. Proposals to restrict use of antibiotics for therapeutic purposes runs up against the interests of meat and poultry industries.
The best the FDA can do falls far short of what is needed. Witness its pussy footing on cephalosporin drugs.
This is a modest first step by the FDA…but we’re really just looking at the tip of the iceberg. We don’t have time for the FDA to ploddingly take half-measures. We are staring at a massive public health threat in the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. We need to start acting with the swiftness and decisiveness this problem deserves.
We do indeed. Her bill deserves much support. Public health should not be left up to the meat, poultry, and drug industries to decide.