India bans use of "last hope" antibiotic on farms

India bans use of "last hope" antibiotic on farms

Madlen Davies , Ben Stockton |
July 22, 2019

India bans use of "last hope" antibiotic on farms

The Indian government has banned the use of a “last hope” antibiotic on farms to try to halt the spread of some of the world’s most deadly superbugs, after a Bureau investigation revealed it was being widely used to fatten livestock.

Colistin is one of the most important antibiotics in human medicine because it is used as a “last resort” to treat people with infections that are resistant to almost all other drugs. Despite this, for years it has been indiscriminately added to animal feed on Indian farms, breeding deadly bugs.

The use of antibiotics to fatten up animals — known as “growth promotion” — is a major cause of the world's growing antibiotic resistance crisis. The World Health Organisation says the practice should be banned.

The ban in India reaches further than just growth promotion. The Ministry of Health issued a notification on Friday prohibiting the “manufacture, sale and distribution of the drug colistin and its formulations for food-producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements” because such use is “likely to involve risk to human beings”. That means the drug also cannot be used as a veterinary medicine for farm animals.

Credit by - The LENS

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