Chickens

The NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) announced earlier this week that they’ve filed a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit against the FDA claiming that the agency failed to disclose documents that could prove a significant human health risk exists when consuming animal products that contain high levels of antibiotics, which are routinely fed to livestock animals.

After failing to disclose the documents requested by the NRDC under the Freedom of Information Act, the non-profit environmental organization filed the lawsuit in federal court in hopes of forcing the FDA to disclose the information.

The NRDC has been a critical voice in the ongoing conversation over the use of antibiotics in livestock feed—and earlier this year the FDA was ordered by a federal court to investigate the overuse of antibiotics. Nearly 70 percent of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are fed to animals living in factory farms. They’re used mostly as a preventative—to keep animals from developing infections while living in unsanitary conditions where diseases are widespread. And they’re also employed to help the animals grow faster. The excessive use of antibiotics in our food supply has directly correlated with a rise in serious infections and illnesses that can no longer be effectively treated with common antibiotics, leading health care practitioners to rely on stronger medications with more serious human health risks.

Requested by the NRDC are FDA documents that concern scientific reviews on the safety of antibiotics in animal feed, which the organization believes the FDA has information on that would support the organization’s case for decreasing or eliminating antibiotics from animal feed.

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