Beef stakeholders seek extended FDA comment deadline

FDA examining prevention uses of medically important antimicrobial drugs used in animal feed.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Assn., the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants filed a joint letter to the Federal Register on Wednesday requesting a 90-day extension of the public comment period concerning the Food & Drug Administration's notice of information for the medically important antimicrobial drugs in feed/water for food-producing animals that lack a defined duration of use in their labeling.

For cattle, the notice refers to the diseases anaplasmosis, bacterial enteritis, liver abscesses and pneumonia as well as to the drugs chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, tylosin, neomycin with oxytetracycline and virginiamycin.

Through its request for information, FDA appears to be closely examining the prevention uses of the medically important antimicrobial drugs used in animal feed in response to increasing pressure by activist groups for the agency to take action to reduce the allowed usage.

The three industry organizations firmly believe that the additional 90 days will be necessary for the research and development of meaningful comments based on sound science and established veterinary practices for the diseases and compounds identified for cattle in FDA's notice for information. The comment period currently is set to close on Dec. 13, 2016.

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