Canada should ban off-label antibiotic use in agriculture: CMAJ

Canada should ban off-label use of antibiotics in farm animals because it contributes significantly to antibiotic resistance in humans, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Off-label use means using antibiotics for purposes other than those indicated on the label.

"Of greatest concern is the promotion of resistance to antibiotics that may currently represent the last resort for treating some highly resistant infections in humans," writes Barbara Sibbald, Deputy Editor, CMAJ.

Other countries and regions are far ahead of Canada in limiting the in animals. By 2005, the European Union had phased out antibiotics used to enhance growth in livestock and those from classes prescribed for humans. The US has asked food producers to voluntarily stop using antibiotics for nonmedicinal purposes in farm animals.

Some drugs, such as those in classes used as a last defence against vancomycin-resistant pathogens, are used in farm animals.

Canada should stop using antibiotics in food production, support producers who are trying to improve conditions for raising animals, and institute measurement and reporting systems to track usage.

More information: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.120561

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA wants limits on antibiotics given to animals

Apr 11, 2012

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration called on drug companies Wednesday to help limit the use of antibiotics given to farm animals, a decades-old practice that scientists say has contributed to a surge in dangerous, ...

FDA limits some antibiotics in livestock

Jan 04, 2012

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday ordered farmers to limit the use of a type of antibiotics they give livestock because it could make people more resistant to a key antibiotic that can save lives, encouraging ...

Recommended for you

Malaysia reports first Asian death from MERS virus

1 hour ago

A Malaysian man who went on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia has become the first death in Asia from Middle East respiratory syndrome, while the Philippines has isolated a health worker who tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

Philippines quarantines man over MERS fears

1 hour ago

Philippine health authorities said Wednesday they have quarantined a Filipino who arrived from the Middle East because he tested positive for the deadly MERS virus.

Thyroid disease risk varies among blacks, Asians, and whites

20 hours ago

An analysis that included active military personnel finds that the rate of the thyroid disorder Graves disease is more common among blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders compared with whites, according to a study in the April ...

User comments