FDA Issues Guidance on Antibiotic Use in Food Animals

The Food And Drug Administration is launching an effort to limit the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Under proposed voluntary guidelines, the drugs would be used mainly for health purposes, not to help poultry and animals gain weight. Overuse of antibiotics is creating a bacterial resistance to them, a problem that extends to humans. Critics argue that with this voluntary approach, there's no guarantee limits will be observed. FDA Deputy Commissioner Mike Taylor argues it would take too long to seek mandatory bans. He says this cooperative effort will work:

“The actions really reflect the willingness and ability of government, drug companies and the animal production community to collaborate in solving the problem of anti-microbial resistance. “ 

FDA Antibiotics Guidance Problematic For Producers

The loss of and restricted access to products expected with implementation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidance on the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production likely will disproportionately affect small producers, have a negative effect on animal health and increase the cost of producing food while not improving public health, said the National Pork Producers Council.

The guidance is a move to address an increase in antibiotic-resistant illnesses in humans, which opponents of modern animal agriculture blame on the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production.

But numerous peer-reviewed risk assessments, including at least one by FDA, show a “negligible” risk to human health of antibiotics use in food-animal production.

Savannah River Shipping Channel Changes

Plans to deepen the Port of Savannah's busy shipping channel are shrinking by a foot of depth while adding about $50 million in costs to taxpayers.

Those were the major changes to the project revealed Wednesday. The Georgia Ports Authority long sought to deepen the river from 42 to 48 feet, but yielded to the federal agency's finding that stopping at 47 feet would create a better cost-benefit ratio.

The project's overall cost rose to $652 million with most of the added costs being for new environmental mitigation features.

Natural Gas Prices Continue to Fall

The price of natural gas has dropped to $2 for the first time in more than a decade. Kohn Killduff an energy analyst with Again Capital explains what’s behind the drop in price.

USDA’s ERS Study Shows SNAP Does have Benefits

The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called the Food Stamp Program, reduces the prevalence of poverty somewhat, and to a greater extent reduces the severity of poverty in many U.S. households, according to new USDA research.
According to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) report, SNAP benefits led to an average annual decline of 4.4 percent in the prevalence of poverty from 2000 to 2009, while the average annual decline in the depth and severity of poverty was much larger (10.3 and 13.2 percent, respectively).

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