The Food and Drug Admin­istration (FDA) said last week it had received positive written commitments from all but one of the 26 animal pharmaceutical companies on its request that they phase out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in livestock.

In December, the agency asked the companies to stop selling antimicrobial drugs for growth promotion. It also asked the companies move drugs from "over the counter" to a status requiring veterinary oversight.

Last month the Animal Health Institute (AHI) and the Generic Animal Drug Alliance (GADA), which represent most animal drug companies, committed to the voluntary guidelines. "Most of the antibiotics are used for treatment and control and prevention of disease, and very little [are] actually used strictly for growth promotion," said Richard Carnevale of AHI.

The FDA did not identify the company that did not respond positively to its request.