Gaps in FDA’s Antibiotics Policy

In December 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took steps to eliminate the use of antibiotics in food animals for growth promotion. It asked drug companies to remove indications for “feed efficiency” and “weight gain” from labels of antibiotic products and require veterinarians to oversee addition of these drugs to feed and water. The new policy is intended to reduce antibiotic misuse, which contributes to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A new report from the Pew Charitable Trust examines gaps in FDA policy that may allow some harmful practices to persist.