The FDA took an important step this month when it issued a three-year plan seeking less antibiotic use in food-producing livestock, writes Michael Taylor, the agency's deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Two of the largest drug companies affected have said they will follow the guidelines, making the FDA confident others will follow, he writes. The FDA needs to acquire more detailed data on antibiotic uses in animal production, closely monitor industry practices and work with veterinarians to achieve the long-term goal of protecting public health and slowing the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, he writes.

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