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8717Citing Human Threat, U.S. Bans a Poultry Drug - New York Times

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  • Pamela Rice
    Sep 1, 2005
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      [EXCERPT: Margaret Mellon, director of food and environment at the
      Union of Concerned Scientists, said, "It's the first time F.D.A. has
      withdrawn a veterinary drug on the basis of antibiotic resistance
      concerns, fearing that use of the drug in animals is going to erode
      the effectiveness of the drugs in human medicine."]


      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/29/national/29fda.html?ex=1125720000&en=644a4e4585bd39c1&ei=5070&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1122642108-65XRFRKQvxm9YahcJ/aDLA

      July 29, 2005

      Citing Human Threat, U.S. Bans a Poultry Drug

      By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

      WASHINGTON, July 28 (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration said
      Thursday that it was banning the use of the antibiotic Baytril in
      poultry because of concerns that it could lead to
      antibiotic-resistant infections in people.

      The agency's commissioner, Lester M. Crawford, ordered that approval
      for use of the drug, known generically as enrofloxacin, be withdrawn
      effective Sept. 12.

      Baytril, manufactured by Bayer of Leverkusen, Germany, is in the same
      family as the popular drug Cipro, which is used in humans.

      Dr. Crawford cited particular concerns about campylobacter bacteria,
      a growing source of serious illness in humans. Antibiotics used to
      treat the bacteria can be less effective if the germ has already
      developed resistance to Baytril, the agency said.

      Margaret Mellon, director of food and environment at the Union of
      Concerned Scientists, said, "It's the first time F.D.A. has withdrawn
      a veterinary drug on the basis of antibiotic resistance concerns,
      fearing that use of the drug in animals is going to erode the
      effectiveness of the drugs in human medicine."

      Campylobacter is commonly found in the intestinal tracts of turkeys
      and chickens, where it does not generally cause illness, Dr. Crawford
      said in his order.

      Use of enrofloxacin in poultry does not eliminate campylobacter from
      the birds, but instead results in the development of bacteria
      resistant to this type of drug, he said.

      Resistant bacteria may be present in poultry sold at retail outlets.
      Dr. Crawford noted that since the drug was introduced for poultry in
      the 1990's, the proportion of resistant campylobacter infections in
      humans has risen significantly.

      That can prolong the length of infections in people and increase the
      risk of complications, he said. Complications can include reactive
      arthritis and blood stream infections. A Bayer spokesman, Bob Walker,
      said company officials were reviewing the ruling from a scientific
      and legal position before deciding whether to appeal it.

      Bayer has 60 days to appeal Dr. Crawford's decision to a federal appeals court.

      According to the interest group Keep Antibiotics Working, many top
      poultry producers have announced that they no longer use such drugs
      in chickens produced for human consumption. Such producers include
      Tyson, Gold Kist, ConAgra, Perdue, Foster Farms and Claxton.

      Major chicken buyers, including McDonald's, Wendy's, Dairy Queen and
      Burger King, have instructed their suppliers to stop using this class
      of drugs in chickens they buy.