Saturday, September 10, 2005

Another "growth promotant" banned

Questionable Authority has a post reporting that the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) has successfully got a company called Bayer to widthdraw one of its poultry antibiotics from the market. The antibiotic in question, called Cipro belongs to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, which are typically used to treat gram -ve bacteria such as Salmonella typhi, Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli. Here, the antibiotic was being used to kill E. coli in the chickens, but Cipro doesn't tend to kill the Campylobacter jejuni that also co-inhabit the chickens as well.

As I mentioned in a previous posting on antibiotic resistance development in farmed animals, resistance to one kind of antibiotic often increases the resistance to the other drugs even though the bacterium never encountered them initially. The FDA had Cipro banned for precisely this reason as it was correctly noted, that resistance to Cipro could increase the chances of Campylobacter jejuni infections becoming much harder to treat with other fluoroquinolone type antibiotics.

Although it's a far cry from having these things outright banned as I would like to see, it's a small but important victory against this practice.