New FDA Data on Antibiotics Released

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released new data on the sales of antibiotics approved for use in food-producing animals.

The national coalition Keep Antibiotics Working released this statement.

… despite industry assurances to the contrary, the use of human antibiotics on the farm have continued to rise, and specifically the use of the critically important antibiotic class cephalosporins (12% increase from 2013 through 2014) which the FDA placed restrictions on in 2012. Antibiotic sales of medically important antibiotics went up by 23% over the past 5 years of which we have data, while animal production did not. This is indicative of a production system that is clearly not sustainable.
This troubling trend reaffirms that an approach, based largely on voluntary industry reductions, is inadequate faced with the public health crisis of antibiotic resistance. There is no indication that FDA’s change in policy has yet resulted in any meaningful reductions on antibiotic sales and usage in food animal production. Over the counter sales clearly indicate that veterinary oversight couldn’t come soon enough. Improvements to data presentation in this report will help bolster the need for further policy changes.
As the coalition has been saying for years, FDA must set clear targets for the reduction in antibiotic use. Otherwise, industry will continue to conduct business as usual, while the crisis of resistance continues to loom large and consumers pay the price.”

-Keep Antibiotics Working