Environmental groups, public-health groups and others opposed to the use of antibiotics in livestock production continue to push for tighter restrictions on the use of those products.
The most recent development is a ruling by a federal judge in New York, who found that the FDA behaved in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it dismissed two citizens’ petitions that asked the agency to consider banning farmers from using antibiotics on livestock for non-therapeutic uses.
The FDA had rejected the two petitions – filed in 1999 and in 2005 – because of the time and expense to hold formal withdrawal proceedings.
The ruling adds fuel an intensifying legal war over the future use of antibiotics to promote animal growth, increase feed efficiency and disease prevention on food-producing livestock.
At a news conference during World Pork Expo in Des Moines last week, the chief veterinarian of the National Pork Producers Council, Dr. Liz Wagstrom, talked about what that ruling means. She was joined by Michigan pork producer Bob Dykhuis, a member of the NPPC board who has also been very involved with the antibiotics issue.
Dykhuis discussed the issues surrounding FDA’s Guidance 209 and Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and talked about the changes that are coming to the pork industry as far as accessing and using antibiotics over the next three to five years.