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25 drug companies to phase out animal antibiotics

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WASHINGTON — Twenty-five pharmaceutical companies are voluntarily phasing out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animals processed for meat, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

Citing a potential threat to public health, the agency in December asked 26 companies to voluntarily stop labeling drugs important for treating human infection as acceptable for use in animal production. The FDA did not name the one company that has not agreed to withdraw or revise its drugs.

The companies will either withdraw the drugs from animal use completely or revise them so they would only be able to be used with a veterinarian’s prescription.

Many cattle, hog and poultry producers give their animals antibiotics regularly to ensure that they are healthy and to make the animals grow faster.

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