After more than a year in the making, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule that will require drug makers to report the amount of antibiotics that are sold for use in different types of food-producing livestock.
By collecting this data, the agency hopes to better understand exactly how the medicines are used by farms that raise hogs, cattle, chickens, or turkeys for human consumption. The rule goes into effect in 60 days, according to a notice published today in the Federal Register.
The FDA was urged by consumer groups and lawmakers to take this step over concerns about antibiotic resistance, which has been blamed for some 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 70 percent of antibiotics used to treat Americans are also used in livestock, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.