April 23, 2014

Judge Orders FDA to Resume Process of Removing Antibiotics from Animal Feed

Today, a New York District Court judge ruled in favor of the National Resources Defense Council, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Public Citizen and against the FDA over the matter of antibiotic use in food-producing animals.

Food Poisoning Bulletin reported on this issue back in December. At that time, the FDA abandoned the process of withdrawing approval of those drugs in animal feed.

The lawsuit was filed in May 2011 to force the FDA to finally follow through on a 1977 process removing growth promoting antibiotics that are routinely put into animal feed.

Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz granted a summary judgment and denied the FDA’s request for a dismissal. The judge ordered the FDA to begin proceedings to withdraw approval for antibiotic use unless the drug manufacturers can provide evidence that the use of those drugs is safe. In his ruling, the judge cited concerns that overuse of antibiotics is creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, thus endangering human health.

The case is Natural Resources Defense Council et al. v. FDA in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, number 11-3562.

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