After a magistrate judge ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must act on its long-standing proposal to ban the use of three antibiotics in animal feed because they may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, FDA is appealing the decision. In a notice dated May 21, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine Bernadette Dunham and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius together filed an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the March decision. The ruling came after a coalition of 5 nonprofit organizations filed a suit demanding that FDA take action on an announcement it made 35 years earlier in 1977 that it would ban the use of penicillin and two types of tetracycline in animal feed in light of evidence that this practice was contributing to antibiotic-resistant strains of human pathogens. If upheld, the decision will mandate FDA to follow through with drug company hearings that it must conduct in order to determine whether these drugs are indeed a threat to human health. If the antibiotics are found to be dangerous to humans, FDA must see that they are withdrawn from the market for use in animal feed.