Following the FDA ban on use of medically important antibiotics to encourage weight gain in hogs, cattle and poultry, sales of the drugs are averaging 6.1 million kilograms (13.4 million pounds) a year, a decline of 37 percent from their 2015 peak.
Drugmakers will have two years to change the sales availability of some medically important livestock antimicrobials to prescription-only, said the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday. The shift from over-the-counter sales would mean the drugs can be used only under veterinary supervision.
Six firms are seeing disruptions in the supply chain because of Covid-19 that could lead to shortages of animal drugs for the U.S. market, said the FDA in an update. Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said USDA animal scientists are "looking for any kind of possibility, even vaccines, that may help" against the viral disease.
In the first days of 2017, the FDA instituted long-sought controls over farm use of antibiotics, with a ban on use of medically important antibiotics as a growth promoter in cattle, hogs and poultry. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the next two steps in promoting antimicrobial stewardship …
The USDA’s acting chief scientist, Chavonda Jacobs-Young, has publicly criticized the World Health Organization’s updated recommendations for curbing antibiotic use on farms, citing poor science.
The amount of antibiotics sold for use in livestock in the United States has dropped for the first time since data collection began, according to FDA numbers. The data also show for the first time which types of meat animals are receiving the most antibiotics. (No paywall)
In a major new statement about the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture, the World Health Organization is urging livestock agriculture and fish farming worldwide to sharply cut antibiotic use, reserving the precious drugs for animals that are sick and then choosing only antibiotics that are not important to human medicine. (No paywall)
Federal researchers say multi-drug resistance has increased to 12 percent of salmonella bacteria found in the digestive systems of ill people, up from 9 percent in the previous year. Salmonella is a common type of food-borne illness estimated to affect 1 million Americans annually and to cause 380 deaths a year.
Antibiotic-resistant infections — everything from gastrointestinal illnesses to recurring urinary tract infections and staph — are among the most menacing issues in public health today, sickening 2 million people a year and killing at least 23,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So perhaps it’s not surprising that government has begun to take steps to limit antibiotics in animal agriculture, where many of these infections arise, before they wreak further havoc in humans.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to vote next Tuesday on an ordinance that would require large grocers in the city to report on antibiotics used in producing the meat they sell, says the San Francisco Examiner. The information would be made public in an effort “to use the power of the consumer to force marketplace change.”
Fourteen of the top 25 restaurant chains in the United States are telling farmers to restrict the routine use of antibiotics in chickens, compared with nine a year ago, according to the annual Chain Reaction report. “While restaurant chains made great progress on chicken, the groups found that there were no new commitments to limit antibiotic use in beef and pork.”
Since the FDA began moving three years ago to control antibiotic use in meat animals — an effort that culminated in January with a ban on growth-promoter antibiotics, which fatten livestock inexpensively — farmers have wondered whether anything can take the drugs’ place.
A recent study from Denmark shows that a strain of drug-resistant staph carried by pigs is causing severe illnesses in people who have no contact with pigs or farms. The infections have occurred even though Denmark has some of the most stringent controls on antibiotic use and the study’s …
Doctors have prescribed the antibiotic vancomycin for 60 years against disease and infections in people "and bacteria are only now becoming resistant to it," says Britain's Press Association. "Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in the United States have now modified the drug so it works in three separate ways on bacteria, making it much harder for them to develop resistance."
Gov. Larry Hogan stood aside and let a Maryland law take effect without his signature that will bar use of medically important antibiotics to promote weight gain among cattle, hogs and poultry. The Maryland law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, the same implementation date as a similar law enacted in 2015 in California, the only other state to control antibiotic use with the goal of preserving the effectiveness of the drugs to fight disease in humans.
Activism around the contentious issue of giving antibiotics to meat animals is moving from the farm to the plate by putting pressure on restaurant chains. Last week, a coalition of 30 consumer and environmental groups pressed the cult California burger chain In-N-Out to change its antibiotics-related buying policy. At the same time, a shareholder group pushed McDonald’s to increase its antibiotic-free buying — and while the measure did not pass, 30 percent of shareholders voted for it.
Scientists with the Surfer Biome Project are investigating whether antibiotic-resistant microbes can be spread though ocean water, says The New York Times. By taking samples from surfers’ mouths, bodies, and boards, the project hopes to learn how easily resistant organisms can pass into the human body.
An international partnership created to encourage development of new antimicrobials and diagnostics awarded $24 million to scientists pursing 11 projects with an additional $24 million possible over three years, if the researchers make progress. It was the first round of money from the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Accelerator (CARB-X), formed last July with a goal of investing $450 million over five years.
Building on a 10 percent reduction in the use of antibiotics to treat farm animals, the British Cattle Veterinary Association is encouraging its members and the cattle industry to further reduce the use of the antimicrobials, says The Cattle Site, a website for industry news. The recommendations are aimed at lower overall use of antibiotics and minimizing critically important antibiotics, such as cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin.