FDA sued over antibiotics in farm feed
The US Food and Drug Association (FDA) is having a federal lawsuit filed against by a coalition of consumer groups who say that the use of human antibiotics in animal feed creates dangerous superbugs.
The groups allege that the practice of including penicillin and tetracycline in the feed of healthy animals could result in the rise of bacteria and superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics in people.
The drugs are usually added to the feeds of cows, pigs, chickens and other livestock and although the dose is so low it is unable to treat diseases, it leaves surviving bacteria stronger and more able to able to resist them.
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The lawsuit claims that the FDA discovered the risks of adding antibiotics to animal feed in 1977 and although the health agency was required to act on its findings the FDA “failed to take any action to protect human health,” the groups said in a statement.
Groups included in the coalition are the Food Animal Concerns Trust, Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), Centre for Science in the Public Interest, Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Their aim is to “compel the FDA to take action on the agency's own safety findings, withdrawing approval for most non-therapeutic uses of penicillin and tetracycline in animal feed.”
The executive director of NRDC, Peter Lehner, said in an interview: “Accumulating evidence shows that antibiotics are becoming less effective, while our grocery store meat is increasingly laden with drug-resistant bacteria.”
However, the FDA believes that when used properly, the drugs could play a key role against harmful bugs.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”