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Posted Thu Aug 13 2009: from Miller-McCune:
Playing Chicken With Antibiotic Resistance
...Citing concerns that injecting eggs with antibiotics "presents a risk to the public health," the FDA issued a rule in July 2008 that severely limited antibiotic use in hatcheries. The aim, the FDA said in a carefully reasoned statement backed by government studies from the U.S., Canada and Europe, was to restrict use of a class of antibiotics due to fears that misuse on farms reduced the antibiotics' effectiveness for humans a concern long voiced by the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and public health agencies in numerous countries. Coming from a federal agency with sweeping legal powers and powerful law-enforcement capabilities, the FDA's rule was tough stuff or so it seemed at first. But that was before the powerful U.S. chicken lobby sometimes dubbed "Big Chicken" stepped in. Within weeks of the FDA's antibiotic prohibition, a barn burner of a fight, pitting scientists against farmers and physicians against veterinarians, ignited across the continent. Then, three weeks before the ban was to go into effect, FDA policymakers mindful of an earlier ban on antibiotic use in poultry that was won only after years of litigation suddenly abandoned their own ruling.
[Read more stories about: antibiotic resistance, pandemic]

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