FDA taking new precautions to limit antibiotic resistance - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

FDA taking new precautions to limit antibiotic resistance

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HARMONY, Minn. (KTTC) -- Feeder pigs have one job-- to get big and then they're off to market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned that increased use of antimicrobial drugs given to farm animals like pigs could have adverse effects on human response to drugs.  So what's their plan? They plan to have increased oversight on the farm by veterinarians like Ross Kiehne.

"The FDA has taken a good stance on trying to let us voluntarily make the right decisions for the pigs.  To remove the growth hormone label and allow us to continue as veterinarians and as farmers to oversee the actual therapeutic use of antibiotics in these pigs," says Kiehne.

The FDA suggests that changing the way producers get access to feed with antibiotics added could help.  Much like you go to the pharmacy to get a prescription, a farmer would need to go to a vet before getting access to feed with antibiotic additives.

"I don't have any of the farmers that I work with that would overuse an antibiotic.  They would decide that it's needed to make that healthy so they would use it, and they would make sure that a veterinarian is involved in the decision making for the right amount of time and the right dosage," says Kiehne.

Antibiotics that are administered to feeder pigs, cattle or chickens are now supposed to go through a special period to help insure the effects of antibiotics added into the feeds don't reach the human population.

"Every antibiotic we use in these barns would follow strict withdrawal periods, so that when the pig goes to market it would not be found in the pigs anymore," says Kiehne.

Kiehne follows the rules, but that isn't to say that each farmer follows such strict protocols.  The FDA's initiative is an attempt to insure that the antibiotics you use regularly will remain strong for years to come.

 

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