Washington • The Food and Drug Administration has moved to limit the use of an antibiotic that is injected into livestock before slaughter, saying it could increase antibiotic resistance in humans.
While the action is limited to only one of several drugs used on industrial feedlots, it is encouraging news for public health advocates who have long pushed the government to force livestock producers to use fewer antibiotics, saying they are overused and could endanger human lives by building up resistance to the drugs. One main concern is the use of antibiotics in healthy animals to spur growth or to keep them well in unsanitary feedlot conditions.
The FDA said Wednesday it will restrict the use of cephalosporin antibiotics, which are given to some cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys before slaughter. The drugs are used to treat pneumonia, skin infections and meningitis, among other diseases, in humans.