Overuse of Antibiotics in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Regulation and Tort Law

47 Environmental Law Review 557 (2017)

Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper

25 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2017

See all articles by Sidney A. Shapiro

Sidney A. Shapiro

Wake Forest University School of Law

Date Written: September 20, 2017

Abstract

This essay explores the potential role of the tort system to plug the regulatory gap created by the reluctance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal food production despite increasing evidence that this practice increases the risk of human infections that cannot be treated by available antibiotics. This regulatory gap could be addressed if plaintiffs were able to establish that antibiotic use is a product defect, but this will be difficult because of the requirements of proof in a tort action including establishing that a defendant was the cause of the plaintiff’s antibiotic resistant infection. Despite these hurdles, a plaintiff could potentially succeed, which may be the only way to deter the risk to the public caused by the use of antibiotics in animal food production until FDA acts to protect the public.

Suggested Citation

Shapiro, Sidney A., Overuse of Antibiotics in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Regulation and Tort Law (September 20, 2017). 47 Environmental Law Review 557 (2017); Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3040169

Sidney A. Shapiro (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States
336-758-5430 (Phone)

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