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Submission + - FDA Sued to Stop Antibiotic Abuse on Factory Farms

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Medical groups from the American Medical Association to the American Society of Microbiology have appealed to the government and industry for years to restrict the practice of providing sub-therapeutic doses on antibiotics for livestock, lest critical antibiotics become useless for human treatments. Now Tom Laskawy reports that a coalition of environmental groups has decided to sue the Federal Drug Administration to follow its own safety findings and withdraw approval for most non-therapeutic uses of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed to healthy livestock when it's not medically necessary. "While this may cause eyerolls among some who look at this as "just another lawsuit," there's something very important going on with the courts and contested science right now," writes Laskawy. "As it happens, one of the main roles of a judge is as "finder of fact." In practice, this means that judges determine whether scientific evidence is compelling enough to force government action." After all, it was the Supreme Court that ultimately forced the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. "And so, it may be that the courts hold the key to forcing the FDA to finally act on antibiotics in livestock," concludes Laskawy. "For the moment, judges, who are forced to treat peer-reviewed scientific evidence with the respect it deserves, may be the only hope.""

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