Natural Resources Defense Council v. Food and Drug Administration

In 2016, Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice, Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), and several other public health and consumer groups petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention in livestock and poultry in the absence of illness. Five years later, the FDA denied the petition, despite “generally agree[ing]” that the use of antibiotics “can contribute to the development and proliferation of antimicrobial resistant bacteria.” The FDA’s denial failed to address the petition’s core concern that use of medically important antibiotics for so-called disease prevention purposes in livestock and poultry poses a significant threat to human health.

In 2023, Public Citizen joined NRDC, FACT, and Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments in a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s denial of the petition.