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Under the Food and Drug Administration policy, antibiotics that have been designated “medically important” — in other words, they’re needed to treat people — cannot legally be given to healthy animals to speed their growth. The policy, three years in the making, requires producers of agricultural antibiotics to change labeling on the drugs to make clear they should not be used for so-called growth promotion. All manufacturers have agreed to abide by the new rule. The policy also requires that from now on, food animals can only be given medically important drugs under the supervision of a veterinarian — a move designed to restrict their use to the treatment of animal illnesses. (Business Insider, 2017)
In October 2017, the city of San Francisco opted for even more transparency regarding the use of antibiotics in meat for its consumers. In the new ordinance, grocery stores will be required to document the antibiotic use in the meat and poultry for sale in their stores and must make that information available to consumers. Of course, this reporting element gets passed off to the producer of the product causing a bit of a stir among those in the livestock industry. Learn a bit more about the debate in this brief Washington Post article. (Links to an external site.) Then share your thoughts in the discussion by considering the following questions:
Do you agree with the FDA restriction on the use of antibiotics to increase growth of livestock animals?
Do you agree with the San Francisco city ordinance that requires meat and poulty producers to disclose antibiotic use (average number of days antibiotic was used, percentage of animals affected, total volume of antibiotics)? What are some of the positive and negative aspects of the San Francisco ordinance?
Would you support a similar ordinance if suggested for the city that you live in?