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President Obama signs memorandum to encourage responsible use of antibiotics

U.S. President Barack Obama has signed a Presidential Memorandum (PM) directing Federal departments and agencies to create a preference for meat and poultry produced according to responsible antibiotic-use. To achieve this goal, the PM directs a three-tiered, phased approach using Federal purchasing authorities to offer options for meats from animals raised according to responsible antibiotic-use policies within Federal agencies' facilities. Specifically, the three phases include:

  • Initiating a process within 120 days of issuance of the proposed memorandum to make available meats and poultry from animals raised according to responsible antibiotic-use policies in certain Federal cafeterias. The General Services Administration (GSA), which operates a significant number of Federal cafeterias, will lead this approach, although other departments and agencies may join.
  • Broadening the availability of meats and poultry produced according to responsible antibiotic-use policies for sale in all Federal cafeterias serving civilian Federal employees by 2018 for poultry and 2020 for other meats, not solely those operated by GSA.
  • Developing an acquisition strategy for applying a preference by 2020 in Federal acquisitions for meats and poultry produced according to responsible antibiotic-use policies sold or served in all Federal facilities.

In related news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized changes to the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulation, an important piece of FDA's overall strategy to promote the judicious use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals as it facilitates bringing the feed-use of such antibiotics under the oversight of licensed veterinarians.

"The actions the FDA has taken to date represent important steps toward a fundamental change in how antimicrobials can be legally used in food-producing animals," said Michael R. Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods. "The VFD final rule takes another important step by facilitating veterinary oversight in a way that allows for the flexibility needed to accommodate the diversity of circumstances that veterinarians encounter, while ensuring such oversight is conducted in accordance with nationally consistent principles."

Friday 19th of June 2015

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