The Indian Government is proposing to ban use of the antibiotic colistin, that is widely used in the meat and poultry industry in India to make animals grow faster.
It is used as an antibiotic of last resort, and is linked to antibiotic resistance in humans. Public health experts say the continued use of such antibiotics in farming renders them useless when treating patients.
Research carried out by London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism earlier this year found that chickens that were raised in India were dosed with some of the strongest antibiotics available. It made a startling reveal about the widespread use of colistin by companies such as Venky’s, the biggest supplier of chicken products to fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC. Venky’s says it uses it only for therapeutic reasons, according to a story in Scroll.in on 2 February.
Government agencies such as the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, the FSSAI, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Drug Controller General of India, have examined the issue and recommended that colistin cannot be used.