Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg says her agency is taking a serious look at antibiotic use on the farm.
Following her speech about “regulatory science” to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Hamburg was asked, why, if antibiotic resistance in humans is such a concern, are antibiotics still used in cows, chickens and other food animals?
“We are in the midst of, you know, very serious scrutiny of these issues and we have made recommendations in support of judicious use of antibiotics,” Hamburg replied. “Nobody wants to deny antibiotics to animals that need medical treatment.”
But, Hamburg added, “The use, in certain preventive contexts, where it is not clearly medically indicated is of growing concern and it’s an area that working with our partners in government – both the CDC and USDA and others – that we’re taking a very serious look at.”
Hamburg’s speech was about what she calls a serious gap between great scientific and technological advancements of our time and getting new medicines from those advancements to market.
Hamburg says she had originally planned to talk about passage of the food safety bill, which is still pending in Congress.
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