Lawsuit Wants to Force Reduction of Antibiotics in Animal Feed

A federal lawsuit filed in New York is seeking to force the government to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal feed on the grounds it diminishes the effectiveness of the drugs to treat people.

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court Wednesday. It accuses the federal Food and Drug Administration of failing to protect human health after concluding in 1977 that feeding animals low doses of certain antibiotics was potentially harmful to people's health.

The lawsuit says the antibiotics are sometimes given to healthy farm animals to promote faster growth and to protect them in unsanitary living conditions. It says the danger to humans occurs when the antibiotics promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect people.

The FDA did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

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