Some antibiotics moo-ve out of animal production

When the FDA rejected two petitions in November that aimed to ban a number of antibiotics from animal production, ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom expressed concern that continued use of certain antibiotics in animals may promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria that could affect humans. So, when the agency announced yesterday that it would prohibit the use of a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins in cattle, swine, chickens, and turkeys, Dr. Bloom applauded the new order.

Such a restriction makes perfect sense, says Dr. Bloom. Cephalosporins are first-line, broad spectrum antibiotics that are commonly used in humans to treat multiple infections, including strep throat, pneumonia, and skin and soft tissue infections. These are crucial antibiotics, so I think it s a very wise decision to discontinue their use in livestock feed. Though he acknowledges that there s no guarantee such orders will slow the development of resistance in humans, Dr. Bloom still believes that it s a sound-science policy decision that is long overdue. He adds, Important antibiotics, such as Keflex, should be reserved for humans only.