Bayer Reckless in Seeking Baytril Extension, Consumer Group Charges

US - A drug safety consumer group charges Bayer Corp. is endangering public health by seeking to stay the Sept. 12 effective date of the first-ever ban for an agricultural antibiotic by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In late July the FDA banned the use of Baytril in chickens, fearing the practice poses health risks for humans. The agency's veterinary medicine division had first sought its removal in 2000.

It's the first time the agency has ended the use of an animal drug because of fears that it could lead to antibiotic-resistant pathogens in humans. The group, the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition, has filed comments with the FDA saying the ban should go into effect as scheduled.

The coalition says there have been two requests for a stay; one by the Animal Health Institute, an agricultural drug trade group, and the other by poultry-veterinarian groups. Each petition asks that FDA allow the drugs to remain on the market for an indefinite period while Bayer seeks judicial review of the Commissioner's decision.

Keep Antibiotics Working maintains such a review would take many months, and possibly several years, to complete. It says many major medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the Infectious Disease Society of America, have publicly supported banning fluoroquinolone use in poultry.

Source: Consumer Affairs
calendar icon 2 September 2005
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