A new report from the NRDC claims that the FDA effectively turned a blind eye to the risks associated with antibiotics it approved for agricultural use. These antibiotics were allowed to be used in livestock despite posing a “high risk” to human antibiotic resistance.
According to the NRDC these drugs were allowed to remain on the market as additives in animal feed and water “despite an internal review that raised significant red flags…” and allowing the drugs to be distributed “likely exposed humans to antibiotic resistant bacteria through the food supply.”
Beyond this, 30 antibiotics, currently in use, would not be likely to gain FDA approval under current FDA guidelines, as “drugmakers have not submitted sufficient information to establish their safety.
“This discovery is disturbing but not surprising given the FDA’s poor track record with dealing this issue. It’s just more overwhelming evidence that FDA – In the face of a mounting antibiotic resistance health crisis – is turning a blind eye to industry’s misuse of these miracle drugs,” said Carmen Cordova, NRDC microbiologist and lead author of the new NRDC analysis.
“The FDA has a troubled track record on maintaining consumer safety,” commented Virginia Buchanan, a shareholder with the Levin, Papantonio law firm who practices in the areas of personal injury and medical malpractice. “Drugs come to market with frightening frequency that have either failed to be fully evaluated for risks or about which the dangers of the product are not yet known.”
For decades the risks of antibiotic use in livestock has been of concern to advocacy groups and, at times, even the FDA. However, little has been done that could be considered significant in protecting consumers from the potential risks associated with antibiotics in livestock.
You can read the full report from the NRDC here.