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FDA Mooooves Away From Ban on Livestock Antibiotics

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has quietly dropped plans to halt the use of certain long-term antibiotics in animals that end up on our dinner plates. Many public health officials have long worried about the overuse of antibiotics in people and animals, which can promote drug resistance, now a major problem in many hospitals. Antibiotics in cattle, pigs, and other animals killed for food have been particularly controversial. On the one hand, they can protect animals from certain infections and promote growth. On the other, for at least 20 years, researchers have known that humans who develop infections, such as salmonella, after eating meat from animals fed copious amount of antibiotics are less likely to respond to related drugs. 

In July, FDA said it would push against use of cephalosporin antibiotics in animals. In late November, it reversed its decision days before the rule was scheduled to take effect. The FDA said in a notice in the Federal Register that it had received "many substantive comments" on its planned ban and was "taking this action so that it may fully consider these comments." An agency spokesperson says FDA could later implement the ban.