Off-label use means using antibiotics for purposes other than those
indicated on the label.
"Of greatest concern is the promotion of resistance to antibiotics that
may currently represent the last resort for treating some highly
resistant infections in humans," writes Barbara Sibbald, Deputy Editor,
Other countries and regions are far ahead of Canada in limiting the use
of antibiotics in animals. By 2005, the European Union had phased out
antibiotics used to enhance growth in livestock and those from classes
prescribed for humans. The US Food and Drug Administration has asked
food producers to voluntarily stop using antibiotics for nonmedicinal
purposes in farm animals.
Some drugs, such as those in classes used as a last defence against
vancomycin-resistant pathogens, are used in farm animals.
Canada should stop using antibiotics in food production, support
producers who are trying to improve conditions for raising animals, and
institute measurement and reporting systems to track usage.