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Ruling on FDA’s Oversight of Animal Antibiotic Use Called a ‘Big Blow to Public Health’

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(Food Safety News) – In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not required to hold hearings concerning the safety of feeding antibiotics at subtherapeutic levels.

The ruling overturns two district court rulings from 2012 in a case initially filed in 2011 by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The groups argue that FDA is required by statute to hold hearings to determine whether to withdraw approval for the use of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed after the agency declared that the subtherapeutic use of the drugs in animal feed “ha[s] not been shown to be safe” in the late 1970s.

Such hearings would be a requirement for industry to prove that the use of these drugs as approved is safe.

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