Science

Antibiotic Abuse On Farm Animals Gets New FDA Regulations

By Duna Bil , Jan 06, 2017 10:25 AM EST

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration announced the release of new regulations that target antibiotic abuse on farm animals. The main regulations state monumental changes in the way medicines for livestock are used.

The shift of regulations is part of the worldwide solution that the United Nations want for countries to take part in---tackling the increasing rate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As reported earlier, the UN promotes developing health reforms and regulations in an attempt to cut down the proliferation of superbugs.

In the United States, the FDA takes the lead by modifying previous rules on animal husbandry. The animal health reform has two parts of significant rules in the regulations.

First is the banning of the use of medicines that promote the growth of the farm animals. The new regulations suggest that this kind of therapy can only be done in the presence of a vet.

Second is the prohibition in animal medicines to use it as a growth-stimulator in animals that are slaughtered for consumption. The medicines should be clearly labeled with the instruction.

Antibiotic abuse on animals have been around since the 1940s when the drugs were first produced for mass usage in both humans and animals. According to the Smithsonian Mag, it all started when farmers noticed that their livestock grow bigger and stronger when they add the drugs in the animal feed.

Although it is true that giving antibiotics to animals make them more able to resist diseases in overcrowded and unsanitary environment, it has also made their meat a carrier for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Farmers give their livestock eight times more antibiotics than human consumes each year. Given the popular consumption of meat, this has led to an increase of antibiotic-resistant cases in humans over the years.

With the new FDA regulations, criticisms arise on the obvious exclusion of instructions on giving antibiotics to animals only when they are sick. According to the NRDC, all current situations where farmers introduce antibiotics to farm animals despite not being sick constitute antibiotic abuse.

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