According to the Huffington Post, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked pharmaceutical companies to make antibiotics intended for treating humans unavailable for widespread use on animals. Should they comply with the FDA’s request, pharmaceutical companies would begin labeling antibiotics used to treat people as unacceptable for treating animals. Additionally, animal handlers would have to obtain prescriptions for certain antibiotics, should sick animals need them.
Meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike are affected by this policy decision. According to PBS, the widespread use of antibiotics on animals has an ecological effect that impacts not only meat but produce and waterways. In other words, we are all potentially exposed to drug-resistant bacteria within the environments where we live. Those who work at hospitals are especially vulnerable.
The FDA, created to regulate purveyors of food (big agriculture) and drugs (big pharma), certainly has a responsibility to curb the growing problem of drug-resistant bacteria. It’s disappointing that this federal agency must kowtow to the very companies it should be regulating.
Will pharmaceutical companies make the right choice? We’ll keep you updated.
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