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Bayer Seeks Reprieve For Animal Antibiotic

by 5m Editor
2 September 2005, at 12:00am

WASHINGTON - Bayer Corp. has asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to keep selling its controversial animal antibiotic, Baytril, while it fights an agency ban on the drug in federal court. Almost five years after the FDA first moved to ban the drug -- which the agency had concluded was contributing to a decrease in the effectiveness of closely related human antibiotics -- FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford issued a final rule in July ordering the drug off the market as of Sept. 12. Bayer, a number of veterinarian organizations and the trade association that represents animal-drug makers filed their petition last week, asking for a permanent delay or a temporary one that would allow them to argue the timing of the ban in court. The petition argues that the poultry industry needs the drug on the market now because the type of respiratory illness treated by Baytril poses the greatest risk to birds in the autumn. All antibiotics gradually become less effective as bacteria adapt to them, and the speed of the adaptation is to some extent determined by how much of the medication is used. Because a substantial percentage of the antibiotics used domestically go to treat farm animals or to speed their growth, the FDA and many medical researchers have sought to limit their use on farms to ensure that the antibiotics used to treat humans do not become ineffective. <I>Source: Washington Post</i>

5m Editor