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US Government Aims to Limit Overuse of Antibiotics in Animals

The White House will stop serving meat with hormones or antibiotics as a symbol of the new initiative.


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As part of an ongoing campaign to curb the overuse of antibiotics, The White House held a forum on antibiotic resistance last month that detailed how approximately 80 percent of antibiotics in America are destined for livestock and poultry. To take on the issue, the Obama administration has ordered that the Presidential Food Service—which feeds the president—no longer serve meat that has been raised with hormones or antibiotics. However, some worry that the campaign is not strict enough on animal agriculture because it simply calls for the “responsible” use of antibiotics. This comes on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision late last year to restrict farm animal antibiotic prescriptions to veterinarians, but not farmers themselves. Human antibiotics have often been used on farms to grow livestock to larger sizes with fewer resources, which can contribute to antibiotic resistance. This FDA policy will be enforced beginning in 2016.

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