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News Link • Food

We are what we eat, so beware of additives

•, Melanie Burney

A federal court has given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a legal push to stop the overuse of common antibiotics in animal feed and make the food supply safer.

The overuse of antibiotics has been linked to the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections among humans that are more difficult and costly to treat. It poses a growing problem in the food supply, putting the health of Americans at risk, especially children and people who are prone to chronic illnesses, experts say.

Those serious concerns were cited last week by U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz in New York in ordering federal regulators to start proceedings to halt their use, unless drug makers can provide evidence that they are safe.

The FDA could appeal the decision, which stems from a lawsuit that was brought by consumer advocacy groups, but it shouldn't do that. After all, the FDA reached the same conclusion 35 years ago, when it started, but never completed, proceedings to withdraw its approval for certain antibiotics in livestock feed.

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