Group Opposes FDA Approval of
Bayer has agreed to limit or stop the sale of Baytril if the FDA determines that its use in cattle leads to antibiotic resistance in bacteria that cause human disease. While that voluntary agreement is a step in the right direction, CSPI fears that it wont hold up. Bayer is a major supplier of fluoroquinolones for flock-wide use in poultry, a use that has resulted in fluoroquinolone resistance in Campylobacter bacteria. But the same company has not stopped selling the drug to poultry growers (nor has the FDA banned its sale).
That is why the FDA should not have approved Baytril -- especially when other antibiotics are just as effective in treating bovine respiratory infections. At a minimum it should have required automatic withdrawal of Baytril if harmful fluoroquinolone-resistant bacteria reach levels set by the FDA and CDC.
Fluoroquinolones are important in human medicine, so it is distressing that the FDA has approved their use in cattle and poultry. Farmers also should not rely on antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention. That would preserve them for use when they were really necessary. In 1997, the World Health Organization recommended phasing out the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of livestock.
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