A decision yesterday by a federal judge could mean that farmers have to stop mixing antibiotics into animal feed, reports the OnEarth blog. The judge ordered the FDA to warn drug-makers of the coming change and give them a chance to prove that the antibiotics are safe and won't raise the risk of creating nasty superbugs, explains Reuters. If they can't do that, the common practice must end.
The ruling gives new life to proceedings that the FDA began ... in 1977. Back then, the agency warned that the widespread use of antibiotics, particularly penicillin and tetracycline, in livestock feed might eventually make the drugs less effective for humans. But the agency then sat on the warning for 35 years, thanks to pressure from Congress, notes the New York Times. An FDA spokeswoman said the agency was "studying the opinion and considering appropriate next steps."