Yesterday, the US Food and Drug Administration announced a new plan to phase out the use of growth-inducing antibiotics in livestock, encouraging meat producers to reduce their use of the drugs voluntarily. Rather than prohibiting antibiotics entirely, which the agency says would be an incredibly time-consuming and expensive task, the FDA’s new policy is designed to promote collaboration between drug companies, veterinarians, and livestock producers. The policy covers the use of antibiotics as growth promoters, but not those used for disease prevention. As a result, some remain skeptical of the policy’s effectiveness, warning that meat producers may be able to bypass the guidelines by getting growth-inducing drugs re-prescribed for the supposed purpose of preventing disease.
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