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Palomar Observatory

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Moo


After over 34 years of studies and warnings over the dangers of their use, the FDA announced Thursday that it was withdrawing its ten year old recommendations to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Tom Vilsack, an industry man if you have ever seen one, is going to the ever popular "voluntary compliance"card. Food safety groups are understandably enraged by what they consider is the abrogation of the USDA's mandate. Pharmaceutical companies are happy. We are only trying to buy certified, organic meat these days. I suggest that you look into the whole issue. It is true that antibiotics can really help out a sick animal that has been standing around in its own poop all day in a constrained, dirty feedlot. Probably should throw in some clonipin too. But hey, what I don't see won't kill me.

Senators' Feinstein and Slaughter introduced a bill in 2009 to not ban antibiotics in agriculture but instead would gradually phase out the use of seven antibiotics that are critical in human medicine.  The bill also calls for farmers to use antibiotics only under veterinary supervision and only for sick animals; antibiotics could not be used as a daily meal supplement in animals' feed. In July of last year Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress that there is a clear link between antibiotic use in animals and antibiotic resistance in humans.
"We agree with Secretary Vilsack that industrial farms should use antibiotics only for disease treatment and control — that is, when animals or herds are sick — and not for growth promotion and routine addition to feed to compensate for overcrowded or unsanitary conditions," said Erik Olson, director of food programs for the Pew Health Group.
Olson added that he was "disappointed" by how long it is taking for the Food and Drug Administration to issue final guidance on voluntary restrictions on antibiotic use.
"We are disappointed, however, that FDA has failed to fulfill its promise to act on the clear scientific evidence and curb antibiotic overuse," he said. "The time to act is long overdue."
Cow taking long nap.

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