After June 11, the Food and Drug Administration’s directive Guidance for the Industry #263 took effect, making it necessary for farmers and ranchers to obtain a prescription to purchase previously over-the-counter antibiotics.
The Stop Overreach in Ranching Act was introduced to Congress this month with hopes of reversing GFI #263 and providing a reprieve to the new antibiotic regulations.
The legislation was proposed and introduced by Congressmen Josh Breechen (R-OK) and Eric Burlison (R-MO), and supported by the American Farmers and Ranchers Cooperative.
“Our cattle producers have been shocked by the news that they would be unable to purchase over the counter the same antibiotics they have used safely for decades,” said AFR Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “The sentiment from our farmers and ranchers has been clear and unanimous — it’s an unnecessary added expense and will be an undue burden on producers. Our livestock producers have years of experience managing these antibiotics; they know what their animals need to thrive. We applaud Rep. Brecheen’s trust in farmers and ranchers and his work to roll back this burden on American agriculture.”
Breecneh says that GFI 263 is part of a larger effort by the FDA and the World Health Organization to reduce antimicrobial resistance across the globe. While some countries do not have the same level of regulation on agricultural antibiotic use, many countries, such as China, do not play by the same rules.
China, for its part, is the largest consumer of agricultural antibiotics and out-doses the United States eight-to-one. Even scientists who are in favor of heavy restrictions and want to lessen animal protein consumption worldwide admit that “global enactment” of restrictions will “only go so far,” and that “current reforms will have limited success.”
“Ranchers work hard to take care of their livestock. Yet, Washington bureaucrats continue to add guidances and regulations that make caring for their livestock increasingly more difficult. The Stop Government Overreach in Ranching Act will repeal the FDA’s burdensome guidance and give back to ranchers the ability to make their own decisions about their livestock. It’s time Washington start trusting our ranchers and farmers, and this bill is a strong step in the right direction,” said Burlison.
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Author: Heidi Crnkovic