SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have sharply curtailed the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production.



 Gov. Jerry Brown

Brown vetoed a bill that would have made California the first state to ban the livestock industry from using antibiotics also used in humans. In his veto message, he urged the state's Department of Food and Agriculture to work with state legislators to find "new and effective ways to reduce the unnecessary antibiotics used for livestock and poultry."

The bill would have outlawed the use of antibiotics as a growth promotant in food animal production. The bill also would have required all antibiotics to be used in livestock only for medical reasons and with a prescription and veterinary oversight. The law applied to antibiotics used by humans, such as penicillin and tetracycline. The bill did restrict drugs used solely for animals.

Groups such as the Consumers Union cheered the veto because of the bill's similarity to Food and Drug Administration guidelines issued in December 2013. The consumer interest group argued the FDA guidelines are "full of loopholes" that allow for the livestock industry to continue using antibiotics.
In his veto message, Brown agreed the bill duplicated the FDA's guidance.

"SB 835 would codify a voluntary Federal Drug Administration standard that phases-out antibiotic use for growth promotion. Codifying these standards is unnecessary since most major animal producers have already pledged to go beyond the FDA standard.

"More needs to be done to understand and reduce our reliance on antibiotics."