U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials say they will continue to allow livestock producers access to a class of antibiotics for a variety of off-label uses. It involves certain uses of cephalosporin drugs in cattle, swine, poultry and other food-producing animals.
Cephalosporin drugs treat respiratory diseases in livestock, but they also are administered "off-label" for uses in poultry not approved by the FDA and more generally in livestock to treat non-approved infectious diseases, reports the Wall Street Journal.
In July, FDA deemed the a practice of using that class of antibiotics in food-animals might present a public-health risk because of the overall trend toward resistant bacteria.
At the time, FDA officials announced plans to crackdown on off-label uses in animals due to the importance of using cephalosporins to treat diseases in humans. Groups such as the Animal Population Health Institute, the Kansas Health Department and the National Turkey Federation opposed the proposed off-label use ban. The American Veterinary Medical Association told FDA the data on the human impact it used to support the ban were flawed.
On Nov. 25, five days before the ban was slated to go into effect, FDA rescinded the ban with a notice in the Federal Register. Agency officials say they need more time to review the many comments it has received. Worth noting is that a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the agency could still impose restrictions later.