In an agency first, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pulled approval in late July of an antimicrobial in animal production citing a potential to lead to antibiotic-resistant pathogens in humans. Commissioner Lester Crawford said FDA's prohibition on the use of enrofloxacin (Baytril) for use to treat bacterial infections in poultry doesn't affect other approved uses of the drug marketed by Bayer Corp. One of a class known as fluoroquinolones, the class also includes Cipro, an antibiotic used in human medicine.

Bayer had 60 days to appeal the decision to a U.S. Court of Appeals. The final rule was to go into effect Sept. 12. Go to www.fda.gov/oc/antimicrobial/baytril.pdf to read the decision. See the Federal Register documents at www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets.

In a release, FDA says proceedings to withdraw use of enrofloxacin in poultry were initiated because data showed its use in poultry caused resistance to emerge in Campylobacter. That bacterium causes foodborne illness and is normally harbored in the digestive tracts of chickens and turkeys.

The Wall Street Journal reported the use of Baytril in U.S. poultry production had already been significantly curtailed, helped along by fast-food chains' mandates to their suppliers not to use any fluoroquinolones.