The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 11 published its final Guidance 213 and proposed Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule. The same day, the National Chicken Council (NCC) issued a statement, saying it supports the FDA's process for Guidance 213 and the Veterinary Feed Directive.
FDA's Guidance 213 implements a plan to phase out over a three year period the subtherapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in food producing animals. The proposed VFD will ensure that all antibiotics that are administered to food producing animals will be done so under the supervision of a veterinarian.
In response, NCC Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., released the following statement:
"NCC appreciates the open and collaborative process FDA has undertaken to phase out the use of subtherapeutic, or growth-promoting uses, of antibiotics that are medically important in treating humans.
"We strongly support the responsible and judicious use of FDA-approved antibiotics and the involvement of veterinarians in raising healthy chickens. In fact, in raising chickens today, chicken farmers already maintain close relationships with licensed veterinarians who interact on a routine basis, with the farmers and their chickens, to provide the best care possible for the flock.
"Antibiotics are not always used in raising chickens; rather, they are administered only when needed and on those occasions, they are used judiciously under the care of a veterinarian. For those antibiotics that are FDA-approved for use in raising chickens, the majority of them are not used in human medicine and therefore do not represent any threat of creating resistance in humans."That being said, we realize that there are strong emotions and conflicting views on the issue of antibiotic resistance - an issue that is very complex, and not black and white. For that reason, NCC has supported and will continue to support FDA's Guidance 213 and VFD process and we will continue to work with our members and the agency on implementing this policy."