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FDA Bans Antibiotic From Poultry

After some five years of stalling by mega-drugmaker Bayer Corp., the FDA finally issued a ban on the use of Baytril -- an antibiotic used by poultry manufacturers -- late last month. It's the first time the federal agency banned an agricultural antibiotic based on its effect on human health.

Chickens and turkeys normally harbor campylobacter, a bacterium that causes foodborne illness, in their digestive tracts without causing poultry to become ill. Baytril doesn't completely eliminate campylobacter from the birds' intestinal tracts, and the bacteria that survive are resistant to antibiotics. In turn, these resistant bacteria multiply in the digestive tracts of poultry and persist and spread through transportation and slaughter, and are found on chicken carcasses in slaughter plants and retail poultry meats and have caused food poisoning in humans.

Of course, the big problem came when sick poultry as well as healthy ones were given an antibiotic needlessly. Makes you wonder if or when the FDA will ever ban the "sub-therapeutic" treatment of healthy animals just to make them grow faster...

Although the ban will be effective Sept. 12, most poultry producers including Tyson and Perdue, along with most fast-food chains, don't buy chickens tainted with Baytril. If you want to taste free-range organic chicken -- the kind not given hormones or antibiotics -- you may want to try one of the varieties we sell in our Web store.

Salt Lake City Tribune August 7, 2005

CattleNetwork.com July 28, 2005

Keep Antibiotics Working.com July 28, 2005

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