Thanks to Dr. Patricia Doyle for enlightening us on this effort. Since it was published in a trade journal you might not have noticed it.
USDA Wants To Allow More Toxins In Organic Meat
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would expand by eight the number of allowable substances used in treating livestock under the National Organic Program.
Among the additions:
* Atropine: Used as an antidote for organophosphate poisoning, usually the result of exposure to pesticides. Atropine is an extract from the plant atropa belladonna. The NOP consulted with both EPA and FDA about the appropriateness of use of atropine and received approval.
* Bismuth subsalicyate: Used as an absorbant, anti-diarrhea drug, as well as for relief from stomach ulcers. FDA advised NOP that bismuth is approved for use in humans and could be approved for use in livestock.
* Butorphanol: Used as painkiller prior to surgery. This is in a class called opiate agonists, and is similar to morphine or fentanyl. It is a significant aid in pain relief, but wears off quickly. The National Organic Standards Board recommended use in organic livestock production, but specified that the period between last use and either slaughter or sale of milk be twice as long as recommended by FDA. USDA does not believe that extension of the withdrawal period is necessary.
* Flunixin: Used in the treatment of inflammation or pyrexia. Flunixin is non-narcotic and non-steroidal. It is a synthetic drug which breaks down quickly and is removed from the body in urine. Again, NOSB recommended a withdrawal period twice the length required by FDA, and USDA disagreed.
NOTE THAT THIS IS A FLUORIDE BASED DRUGFlunixin belongs to a general class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other related drugs in this class include aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen. These drugs are capable of reducing pain fever, and inflammation.
# Flunixin’s chemical name is 2-(2-methyl-3-trifluoromethylanilino) nicotinic acid.
# NSAIDs, like flunixin, work by inhibiting formation of body chemicals called prostaglandins.
# In modulating the inflammatory response, flunixin reduces redness, swelling, heat, and pain associated with tissue damage. It also has antipyretic activity.
# Its clinical effect is apparent ~ 15 minutes after intravenous injection and 1-2 hours after intramuscular injection
# Flunixin is available over-the-counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.
Brand Names and Other Names
# This drug is registered for use in horses and cattle only.
# Human formulations: None
# Veterinary formulations: Banamine® [a.k.a. Finadyne®] (Schering-Plough), AmTech Flunixin Meglumine® (Phoenix Scientific), Equileve® (Vetus), FluMeglumine® (Phoenix Pharmaceuticals), Flunixamine® (Ft. Dodge), Flunixin Meglumine [generic] (Butler).
* Furosemide: Used for treatment of udder and pulmonary edema. It is a diuretic. Again, NOSB accepted the drug but requested an extended withdrawal period. USDA, again, disagreed on the necessity for such an extension.
* Magnesium hydroxide: For use as an antacid and laxative for use in treatment of upset stomach and constipation. This is a naturally occurring mineral.
* Peroxyacetic/paracetic acid: Used for facility and processing equipment sanitation and as a topical disinfectant on animals and meat and dairy products. Approved by FDA as an indirect food additive.
* Poloxalene: For treatment of bloat in cattle, it is a stool softener, and can be used in emergency situations or as a preventative as an addition to feed. It is synthetic. NOSB recommended that it be approved only for emergency treatments; USDA wants it to be used for preventative care as well.
Comments must be submitted by Sept. 15, 2006.
They may be mailed to Arthur Neal, Director of Program Administration
National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Room4008-So., Ag Stop 0268
Washington, DC 20250
Originally posted: 7/21/06
Author: Pete Hisey