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FDA Appeals Decision to Ban Antibiotics in Feed

The government agency hopes to overturn a court-ordered ban on the nonmedical use of antibiotics on farm animals.


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After a magistrate judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration to enforce a 35-year-old ban on antibiotics in animal feed, the federal agency has filed an appeal to overturn the decision. According to a notice dated May 21, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, along with Director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine Bernadette Dunham and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, filed a motion with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to challenge the ruling, which will prohibit the nonmedical use of penicillin and tetracycline unless drug companies can demonstrate that they have no impact on public health. If the appeal is denied, representatives from pharmaceutical companies will be required to testify as to their products’ safety before the FDA—the first step toward implementing the ban.

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