The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published its annual report of sales and distribution data for antimicrobial drugs used in foodproducing animals.
The report’s analysis of 2014 statistics and observed trends of rising antibiotic use immediately drew the ire of consumer advocacy coalition Keep Antibiotics Working (KAW).
“The data released today shows us that, despite industry assurances to the contrary, the use of human antibiotics on the farm have continued to rise, and specifically the use of the critically important antibiotic class cephalosporins (12% increase from 2013 through 2014), which the FDA placed restrictions on in 2012,” a KAW policy analyst said.
KAW condemns industry’s voluntary cutbacks and calls for FDA to establish mandatory reduction goals. “FDA must set clear targets for the reduction in antibiotic use,” according to KAW. “Otherwise, industry will continue to conduct business as usual, while the crisis of resistance continues to loom large and consumers pay the price.” See FDA News Release and Keep Antibiotics Working News Release, December 10, 2015.