WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration is taking new action to help phase out the use of antibiotics in meat.
The agency announced Tuesday that it will ask pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop marketing drugs that are important for treating human infection for use in animal production. If the companies sign on, prescriptions would also be required to use the drugs.
The FDA is hoping to limit antibiotic resistant diseases in humans by decreasing the use of the drugs in animals processed for meat.
Consumers have been increasingly concerned about the issue of antibiotics in meat and the FDA has been deliberating the issue for several years. The FDA's Michael Taylor said he believes asking industry to make the changes is the fastest way to help phase the drugs out.