New FDA guidelines that discourage using medically important antibiotics for promoting growth in food animals appear to have been well-received by both producers and most consumer activists. Change always brings misunderstandings and confusion, however – and the new guidelines are no exception.
One growing misconception is that FDA-approved performance claims such as “increased rate of weight gain” and “improved feed efficiency” will be stricken from the labels of all antimicrobials used in food animals. But that is not the case, according to Megan Bensette, health communication specialist for FDA. She confirmed to Poultry Health Today that performance claims would be removed only from antibiotics that FDA considered medically important to humans – tetracyclines, for example. She emphasized that FDA’s actions were focused solely “on medically important antimicrobial drugs – that is, drugs that are also important for treating disease in people.” Read more