Archive for the ‘Egg News’ Category

Court orders FDA to review antibiotic use in livestock

Court orders FDA to review antibiotic use in livestock
By Todd Sperry, CNN
updated 7:25 PM EDT, Fri March 23, 2012

The FDA says it will study the order
Beef producers are disappointed, say use of antibiotics is “judicious”
Treating livestock with antibiotics may pose risks to human health

Washington (CNN) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it was studying a federal judge’s order that it consider withdrawing two popular antibiotics from use in livestock.

In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz said that the FDA must issue notices to drug manufacturers that the drugs will be withdrawn unless the companies can prove they’re safe. Katz didn’t issue a full ban — suggesting the manufacturers should be given a hearing to make their case.

The suit was originally brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which argued that the FDA has allowed livestock producers to use popular antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline in feed for more than 30 years for purposes other than treatment of illnesses.

The NRDC claims “the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal feed can lead to the growth and spread of drug-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people.” Antibiotic resistant bacteria are fast-moving, can be deadly, and can infect otherwise healthy individuals.

In its statement, the FDA said, “We are studying the opinion and considering appropriate next steps.”

Thursday’s ruling can be traced back to decisions the FDA made more than 30 years ago. In 1977, the FDA announced plans to withdraw approval of some antibiotics used in livestock feed. The drugs have been used by livestock producers to help promote growth and feed efficiency.

At the time, the FDA found the practice of using antibiotics for non-medical reasons unsafe. Drug manufacturers requested hearings, but the FDA never scheduled meetings and nothing else was done. The approval remained in place.

In subsequent years, new medical evidence suggested that treating livestock with antibiotics increased risks to human health. But according to the judge’s ruling, the FDA never changed its position.

In May, two petitions circulated urging the FDA to finish what it started in 1977. When the FDA didn’t respond, the NRDC filed suit.

In December, the FDA withdrew the original 1977 notices saying they were outdated.

The suit alleged that the FDA’s failure to withdraw approval of penicillin and tetracycline after the 1977 research was known was unlawful and violated the administrative procedure act.

According to the NRDC, 80% of antibiotics used in the United States is used in livestock. The group also says 29.8 million pounds of antibiotics were used in livestock in 2009, up dramatically from the previous decade.

Meanwhile, the ruling isn’t sitting well with beef producers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association noted its dissent in a statement saying its members were “disappointed with the decision,” and that practices include the “judicious use of antibiotics to prevent, control and treat any cattle health issues.”

If drug manufacturers fail to show that using the antibiotics in livestock is safe, the FDA commissioner must issue a withdrawal order. But the judge noted that if the drugs are deemed safe, the FDA cannot withdraw them from use.


Egg recall in 34 states over listereria

(CBS/AP) Michael Foods, a Minnesota-based food company, is recalling more than one million hard-cooked eggs from 34 states, after tests revealed some may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

PICTURES: Listeria: 7 key questions answered

Some 15,000 pails of eggs in brine, sold for institutional use, are being recalled, Michael Foods spokeswoman Diane Sparish said in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration written statement.

TheFDA said the eggs were produced at the company’s plant in Wakefield, Neb., and were bought by food distributors and manufacturers and not sold directly to retailers. There have been no reports of illness connected to the eggs, the agency said.

The states included in the recall are: Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida; Georgia; Iowa; Illinois; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Jersey; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Washington; Wisconsin; and West Virginia.

Lab testing by a third party revealed that some eggs may have been contaminated and the company determined that a repair project in a packaging room was the likely source of contamination, Sparish said in an email to The Associated Press. She said more than a million eggs were being recalled.

Michael Foods has taken a number of corrective steps to address the issue and prevent recurrence, she said.

Listeria infection, also known as listeriosis, can cause symptoms including fever, diarrhea, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. The disease primarily strikes older adults, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can take up to two months to appear.

Listeria from cantaloupes caused an outbreak last year that sickened 146 people across 28 states, HealthPop reported. The CDC declared that outbreak over in December.

The eggs are sold under six brand names: Columbia Valley Farms; GFS; Glenview Farms; Papetti’s; Silverbrook; and Wholesome Farms. Here are pictures of these company’s egg labels.

Only lot codes immediately preceded by a “1” AND ending in a “W” are affected.

Here is an example of the lot codes on the packaging: USE BY 11 FEB 12 1 LOT 1362 W

The FDA says a recall of three lot dates was announced on Thursday, January 26, but the recall was expanded today to include additional lot dates as a precautionary measure.

Got questions about the recall? Call Michael Foods at 877-367-3447, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET.