Antibiotic resistance in humans is a health concern; it can lead to long, expensive hospital stays and an increased risk of death. Antibiotic use in animals has increased over the years, and it is now commonplace in the United States for farm animals to be fed low doses of antibiotics on a daily basis. Because of the high use of antibiotics in animals, the animals can develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria in farm animals can pass to humans through meat and poultry consumption, and therefore, antibiotic use in animals needs to be more stringently regulated. Currently, the FDA is working with the CDC and the USDA to monitor antibiotic use in animals and the spread of antibiotic resistance in humans. The FDA has decided to employ a wait-and-see approach and continues to perform research, through NARMS, to determine how big of a threat antibiotic use in animals actually is to humans. It seems the FDA is looking for a direct link before it acts. Antibiotic resistance is a major health concern that needs to be prevented. Because antibiotic resistance poses such a large threat to human health, the better solution is to act now before antibiotic resistance spreads even more. The FDA should coordinate its regulation efforts with domestic agencies (the USDA and the CDC) and international groups (the WHO and the EU). Then, the FDA should enact a ban on all antibiotics that are used in human health care. Finally, the FDA can continue to monitor the remaining antibiotics used in animals in order to determine whether these drugs also pose a threat to human health.
Slowing Antibiotic Resistance by Decreasing Antibiotic Use in Animals.
Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology.
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