Antibiotic Colistin Banned For Food Producing Animals

The Health Ministry has banned the manufacture, sale and distribution of antibiotic, Colistin and its formulations for food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements in a bid to preserve the drug's efficacy in humans.

The ban has been imposed under provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and a notification in this regard has been issued by the Centre.

According to the notification, it was brought to the notice of the Central government that the use of the drug Colistin and its formulations for food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements is likely to involve risk to human beings.

Also Read: Animal Protein Linked to Death Risk in Men: Study

Following which the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the government's top advisory body on technical matters related to drugs in the country considered the matter and recommended prohibiting the said drug, the notification stated.

The Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient in public interest to prohibit manufacture, sale and distribution of the drug Colistin and its formulations for food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements.

The notification read:

Now, therefore, in exercise of powers conferred by section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 the government hereby prohibits manufacture, sale and distribution of the following drug with immediate effect, Colistin and its formulations for food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements.

The ministry also directed that manufacturer of the drug and its formulations shall label the container of the drug and mention the words “not to be used in food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements ” in conspicuous manner on the package insert and promotional literature of the said drug and its formulations.

According to a ministry official, the antibiotic is being used as a last resort for treatment of patients suffering from infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria.

"Colistin is an antibiotic for therapeutic purpose in veterinary. But the drug is highly misused in poultry industry as a growth promoter for prophylactic purpose.One of the reason for antibiotic resistance in India is due to unwanted use of Colistin in poultry industry. This notification will prevent use of the drug for prophylactic use," the official said.

Also Read: How India Can Cut Dangerous Antibiotic Misuse In Food Animals

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