Posted May 2, 2014
 
On Thursday, the California State Senate passed a bill to restrict the use of antibiotics in farm animals for growth enhancement, requiring that the drugs be sold by prescription for medical reasons only, according to an article by Reuters available here.  The text of the bill, SB 835, is available here.
 
This “first-in-the-nation” legislation would codify into law voluntary U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines issued in December 2013, aimed at reducing antibiotic resistance, said state Senator Jerry Hill, author of the bill.  “The more antibiotics are used, the more resistance will develop,” Hill said.  “This is an emergent public health issue.”
 
The FDA Guidance is available here.  The FDA proposed rule amending regulations on antibiotics in animal feed is available here.  For more information on FDA’s efforts to reduce antibiotic resistance, a recent post from this blog is available here.
 
This legislation would “require that antibiotics be sold with a veterinarian prescription and that antibiotic manufacturers label the drugs to show that they require prescriptions.”  The bill would only apply to antibiotics used by humans and would not restrict drugs used solely for animals.
 
The bill is supported by the California Veterinary Medical Association, according to an article by the LA Times available here.

 

For more information on antibiotic use in agriculture, an article from the Congressional Research Service is available here.