FDA seeks less use of antibiotics in animals to keep them effective for humans

By Mary Elizabeth Kenefake, ABC News

The Food and Drug Administration urged farmers on Monday to stop giving antibiotics to cattle, poultry, hogs and other animals to spur their growth, citing concern that drug overuse is helping to create dangerous bacteria that do not respond to medical treatment and endanger human lives.

Joshua M. Sharfstein, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner, said antibiotics should be used only to protect the health of an animal and not to help it grow or improve the way it digests its feed.

“This is an urgent public health issue,” Sharfstein said during a conference call with reporters. “To preserve the effectiveness [of antibiotics], we simply must use them as judiciously as possible.”

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