Warren Questions FDA Commissioner About Antibiotics Guidance

Lydia Zuraw | Food Safety News | March 14, 2014

The issue of antibiotics in animal feed reared its head again Thursday as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg about the effectiveness of Guidance 213 during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing.

“Surely the removal of production uses from the market is a good first step, and I’m hopeful that this is going to lead to decreasing use of antibiotics, but the FDA’s guidance doesn’t guarantee the prudent use of antibiotics in the context of disease prevention,” Warren said.

When FDA announced its final plan last December to phase out the use of antibiotics to promote growth in food animals, the agency gave industry 90 days to respond with their intentions to comply or not.

That deadline passed this week, and members of the Animal Health Institute and the Generic Animal Drug Alliance have shared their written commitments to withdrawing approval relating to production uses and changing the marketing status of their products from over-the-counter to use by Veterinary Feed Directive (VFS) or prescription.