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      FDA proposes plan to phase out antibiotics in livestock feed

      The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of proposing a plan to phase out the use of antibiotics in livestock feed.

      The antibiotics being used in the feed promote animal growth. The administration has called on animal pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily change the labels on the antibiotic feed products, which would eliminate their FDA approved use as a growth promoter. After the label change, it would become illegal to feed the antibiotics to livestock without the approval of a veterinarian for medical purposes.

      Currently, up to 70 percent of the current antibiotics used in feed are given to healthy livestock in the United States. The antibiotics the FDA is trying to phase out include penicillin and tetracycline. The pharmaceutical companies have 90 days to tell the Food and Drug Administration that they will comply with the plan. After the 90 days, the companies will be given 3 years to transition away from the antibiotics used in animal feed.