On Sunday, the paper published an editorial titled “Get Antibiotics Off the Farm,” saying the paper hopes the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a recent ruling that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must, after decades of delay, hold withdrawal hearings on certain antibiotics used in agriculture. Last week, the paper called out the Obama administration for holding up key Food Safety Modernization Act rules at the Office of Management and Budget.
As the Times explained this week, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled that the FDA should “quit dillydallying on its three-decade effort to curb indiscriminate use of antibiotics in farm animals to spur their growth.”
“He set a timetable for the agency to follow in withdrawing two important drugs — penicillin and two forms of tetracycline — from widespread use in animals,” the editorial continued. “The trouble is, that timetable will give the F.D.A. five more years to complete the process.”
The FDA argues that it would be too expensive and time consuming to hold withdrawal hearings, instead the agency has recently adopted a formal voluntary approach to promote the judicious use of agricultural antibiotics.
The New York judge told FDA that the voluntary approach shouldn’t keep the agency from also going forward with the withdrawal proceedings.
“If the F.D.A. appeals that decision, we hope the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold it and find some way to shorten the time period for the F.D.A. to reach final conclusions.”© Food Safety News