FDA to Restrict Some Antibiotic Use
The Food and Drug Administration is restricting how some antibiotics are used in poultry and other livestock to ensure that the drugs will continue to work when administered to humans. The new restrictions, which will take effect April 5, affect the class of drugs known as cephalosporins, which are used to treat pneumonia, skin infections and other illnesses in human medicine.
Hog farms will still be allowed to use the drug for treating illnesses that aren’t listed on the label, but producers won’t be allowed to exceed the FDA-approved dosage, said Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council.
The biggest impact of the restrictions will likely be on the chicken industry, which uses the drugs for disease prevention. Cephalosporins in rotation with other antibiotics are mixed with vaccines that are injected in eggs at hatcheries.
GIPSA Requests FGIS Customer Survey
GIPSA requested that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve a 3-year extension of and revision to a currently approved information collection of a voluntary customer survey concerning the delivery of official inspection, grading, and weighing services. The survey gives customers in the grain, oilseed, rice and related agricultural commodity markets an opportunity to provide feedback on the quality of services they receive and provides GIPSA with information on new services that customers wish to receive. Visit www.federalregister.gov for instructions on how to submit comments by March 19.
Panama Canal Expansion to Impact U.S. Grain Exports
The Panama Canal set a new record for total cargo volume – 322 million tons – in fiscal 2011, outstripping 2010’s volume by 7.1% and breaking the previous record, set in 2007, by 2.9%.
A transportation study by the United Soybean Board (USB) projects that the total volume of soybean and grain traffic through the canal will increase by 30% when the canal opens a third lane of locks in 2014. This new larger, shipping lane will expand the average area for barge transport from 70 to over 150 miles. Assuming the ports will dredge to ensure passage of larger ships, the expansion is expected to save about $.35 cents per bushel on transportation costs for elevators within range of the central Gulf of Mexico ports.