Today the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) moved to rescind the use of the swine drug carbadox (commercial name, Mecadox) that’s been used to treat swine dysentery and bacterial swine enteritis for 40 years.

Since its approval in the 1970s, carbadox’s manufacturers, according to FDA deputy commissioner Michael Taylor, have “failed to provide sufficient scientific data” to demonstrate carbadox’s safety, given evidence that its use may leave carcinogenic residues.

Pork liver, the main area at risk, is used to make liverwurst, hot dogs, lunchmeat, and some types of sausage.

Changes in food choices are not recommended during the removal process, as the trace amounts would pose more risk over a lifetime of consistent pork consumption than in the short term and along with a varied diet. Potential cancer risks are based on an assumed lifetime of consuming pork liver or other pork products containing carbadox residues.

Carbadox’s manufacturer, Teaneck, New Jersey-based Phibro Animal Health, has 30 days from today’s notice to request a hearing defending their approval before the process moves to the next stage. They say they will request a hearing and will fight to keep carbadox on the market.Australia, Europe, and Canada have already discontinued carbadox use.

Australia, Europe, and Canada have already discontinued carbadox use.

Source: Food Engineering. FDA to withdraw approval of swine drug due to safety concerns. CBS News. FDA moves to pull pork drug carbadox linked to cancer.