- The Food and Drug Adminstration is seeking to learn more about antibiotics use in animals by collecting additional data from pharmaceutical companies, in a measure proposed Tuesday.
- In addition to reporting the overall annual volume of antibiotics they sell, these companies would also report sales information broken down by the types of animals using the antibiotics sold.
- The FDA intends to use this animal-specific data to find ways to reduce the amount of antibiotics in the meat consumers buy.
In April, the FDA reported that antibiotics use for farm animals is on the rise. The agency recently reported that some dairy farms had been found with antibiotics in their milk, though cows recently treated with antibiotics are not to be used for milking purposes. In March, the White House released a five-year plan to deal with antibiotics in the food supply.
Some companies are taking their own initiative to reduce or eliminate antibiotics from their foods. Pilgrim's Pride announced that it would stop using antibiotics in about 25% of its chicken production by 2019. Tyson Foods followed that announcement saying it would discontinue medically important antibiotics use in its own chicken supply by 2017. Earlier this month, Tyson took one more step further by instituting a new policy for antibiotics use in poultry geared toward schools, hospitals, and other institutions.