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New FDA Meat Guidelines

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Xenia Stavrinides runs an all-natural family farm at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.

Her chickens, cows and pigs roam free and are raised without steroids or antibiotics.

"It's a clean, nutritious food product, one that nature had intended originally."

Some farmers use the drugs to make their livestock grow bigger and eat less.

But now the FDA wants to limit the use of antibiotics in animals. It's asking drug companies to voluntarily change its labeling so regularly prescribed drugs for people are not used in animals unless they're sick.

And if an animal is sick, farmers would need a prescription to get the antibiotics.

"By reducing these uses we'll be able to reduce antimicrobial resistance and improve our ability to treat human infections," says Dr. Michael Taylor.

But consumer advocates say the new "voluntary" changes don't go far enough.

"We've urged the FDA to take a stronger position and actually prohibit the use of antibiotics in animals except for disease treatment," says Jean Halloran of Consumer Reports.

Stavrinides says she opened her farm more than 20 years ago to produce healthier meats.

"If you want a wholesome nutritious food, you have to start with the actual animal itself."

The FDA is asking drug companies to decide within the next 3 months whether they will follow the new FDA recommendations.

The American Meat Institute, a national trade association, says it supports the FDA's decision and says it will work with producers to implement the changes.

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance also says its members are "committed to the safest and most appropriate care for their animals."

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