The FDA last week said it would ask drugmakers to voluntarily stop marketing antibiotics for non-medical uses on their labels with a goal of completely stopping the practice in a few years. Animal drugs can only be legally prescribed for uses listed on the label, so the change is expected to have a major impact on how farmers use them.
Some public safety advocates complained that the FDA, which worked with drugmakers on the proposal, should have mandated the change. But the FDA said a formal ban would have required individual hearings for each drug, which could have taken decades.
"We think the science is very solid in showing that largely indiscriminate use of antibiotics contributes to resistance," said FDA Deputy Commissioner MichaeI Taylor. "I don't think there's really any question about it."
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