Are you familiar with California’s Egg Rule? In 2008, Proposition 2 of the Egg Rule was approved by voters which banned the sale of eggs in California unless hens had a minimum amount of space in which to lay their eggs. A couple of years after the Rule approval, legislature enacted a statute applying Proposition 2 to all eggs sold in the State of California, regardless of where they were laid. The State of Missouri took issue with this statute because about one third of the eggs laid in Missouri are sold in California. Last week, Mark Arnold (Partner in our Food and Agribusiness team) details why Missouri is challenging the California Egg Rule. Visit our Food and Ag Law Insights blog to read the full article.
On December 11, 2013, the FDA issued a long awaited guidance document on the appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs in the feed or drinking water of food producing animals. Given that this issue has simmered since the 1970’s, it should not be surprising that there are differences of opinion regarding whether this guidance document is a significant step toward addressing antimicrobial use in food animals or whether it is simply a meaningless piece of paper. This blog does not take a position on the scientific issues that underlie this debate. Instead, lets look at the overall strategy taken by FDA.
For several decades, antimicrobial drugs were (and still are) commonly added to the feed or drinking water of food producing animals (e.g., poultry, cattle, and hogs) as growth promoters. These drugs help the animals gain weight faster or use less food to gain weight. However, some people in the public health arena believe that widespread use of antibiotics in animals contributes to the evolution of antibiotic resistant human pathogens. This isn’t new. The FDA, industry, and the public have wrestled with this issue for years. The new guidance document, identified as Guidance for Industry – #213, is the FDA’s attempt to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all parties. Judging by the reaction from some participants in the discussion, the FDA failed. (See here for an explanation of the criticisms leveled at the FDA proposal). But, is this a fair assessment?