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1 year ago
FDA Announces Plans to Phase Out Some Food Production Antibiotics

Here's a win for clean eaters: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to eliminate certain antibiotics used in food production, according to a statement made by the FDA last Wednesday.

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The antibiotics the FDA would like to target are the excess antimicrobial drugs that are added to the food and drinking water of animals like cows, pigs, and chickens. These are used not only to keep them disease-free, but also to fatten them up faster. The problem is that constantly giving animals these drugs—which are also used to treat human diseases—can to lead livestock developing a resistance to them. So if animals do get illnesses like salmonella and E. coli, they can't be treated effectively because they're already immune to the drugs' effects.

MORE: Should You Take Antibiotics For a Virus?

Currently, removing the use of these drugs is voluntary for companies in the food industry. Manufacturers that agree to follow the FDA's recommendation will work with veterinarians to ensure that the livestock only receive the dosage of antibiotics necessary to treat illnesses.

So what does this mean for your food? Reducing the antibiotic dosage will make meat safer, says Sarah Klein, senior staff attorney of the Food Safety Program for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, because it means you're less likely to ingest or come into contact with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or superbugs.

MORE: Is Chicken Giving You UTIs?

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