By: AVMA staff
On April 10, the AVMA cohosted a set of congressional briefings on the impact of the Food and Drug Administration’s new regulatory changes on the use of antibiotics in food animals.
The FDA’s recent finalization of Guidance 213 and release of its proposed rule regarding Veterinary Feed Directives (VFD) establishes a three-year time frame for phasing out the growth promotion uses of antibiotics important in human medicine and the phasing in of veterinary oversight for these products. The AVMA is supportive of the prudent and judicious use of antibiotics under the supervision of a veterinarian because it keeps food animals healthy and carries a public health benefit.
These important briefings explored the impact of the new FDA antibiotic policy on the food animal industry, addressed opportunities and challenges with this transition, and discussed the ways in which veterinarians and animal health companies can help meet these challenges.
Dr. Christine Hoang, assistant director of the AVMA’s Scientific Activities Division, spoke as a panelist on behalf of the AVMA:
“By having these products overseen by (veterinarians) who must comply with licensing and practice requirements, we are ensuring that there is medical rationale and judiciousness in the use of these drugs,” Dr. Hoang stressed during the briefing.
Dr. Hoang also emphasized the importance of education and outreach to everyone affected by the transition to the FDA’s new policies – from veterinarians to food producers – to ensure that this transition is a smooth one.
Other panelists included Dr. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council, who spoke on behalf of the animal food production industry, and Dr. Rich Carnevale, vice president of the Animal Health Institute’s Regulatory, Scientific and International Affairs, who represented animal health companies.
The AVMA has long been engaged with Congress and the FDA on the complex issue of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, as well as the role of the veterinarian in this process. In March, the AVMA submitted comments to the FDA on its proposal to amend the veterinary feed directive drug regulations.