Representatives Josh Brecheen and Eric Burlison Introduce The Stop Government Overreach in Ranching Act

Washington, D.C. – On Monday of this week, Oklahoma Congressman Josh Brecheen and Congressman Eric Burlison, R-Missouri, introduced the Stop Government Overreach in Ranching Act. This legislation would reverse FDA guidance, “GFI 263,” which restricts the use of commonly used livestock antibiotics, such as penicillin, LA 200/300 (oxytetracycline), sulfa-based antibiotics, gentamicin, and a host of other antibiotics that are often bought at local feed stores. This new FDA guidance will require a veterinarian to first issue livestock owners a prescription prior to use starting June 11, 2023.

Representative Brecheen and Burlison’s bill would repeal this FDA guidance and prohibit the agency from issuing a substantially similar guidance or rule.

“This FDA guidance by unelected bureaucrats only adds expense and hardship upon those of us involved in production agriculture. If you have a calf that develops pneumonia or scours, you ought to be able to address it in keeping with 80 years of proven livestock antibiotic use, without having to get a permission slip thanks to a suit-laden bureaucrat in a cubicle. What happens if I discover a sick animal and it is not possible to obtain a script from a vet due to the distance, availability of the vet, and the clinic’s typical closing time?” Brecheen said in a statement to CapitolBeatOK.com.

“Before this guidance, I could have gone to the local feed store five minutes down the road. This guidance will steal valuable time in treating sick animals and reduce inexpensive options. It will result in vets being forced to charge for their time, overloaded with requests from frustrated neighbors, and more costs for scripts and antibiotics — all the while, knowledgeable ranchers and farmers will keep buying the same antibiotics they always have for decades. The only winner here will be the feel-good bureaucracy appeasing leftist World Health Organization grand ideals,” Brecheen continued.

GFI 263 is part of a larger effort by the FDA and the World Health Organization to reduce antimicrobial resistance across the globe. While some countries do not have the same level of regulation on agricultural antibiotic use, many countries, such as China, do not play by the same rules.

Mainland China, for its part, is the largest consumer of agricultural antibiotics and out-doses the United States eight-to-one. Even scientists who are in favor of heavy restrictions and want to lessen animal protein consumption worldwide admit that “global enactment” of restrictions will “only go so far,” and that “current reforms will have limited success.”

“Similar to radical climate ideology adherence, this administration will place burdens on American ranchers while many other parts of the world do not play by the same rules,” Brecheen concluded.

“Ranchers work hard to take care of their livestock. Yet, Washington bureaucrats continue to add guidances and regulations that make caring for their livestock increasingly more difficult. The Stop Government Overreach in Ranching Act will repeal the FDA’s burdensome guidance and give back to ranchers the ability to make their own decisions about their livestock. It’s time Washington start trusting our ranchers and farmers, and this bill is a strong step in the right direction,” said Burlison.

“Our cattle producers have been shocked by the news that they would be unable to purchase over-the-counter the same antibiotics they have used safely for decades. The sentiment from our farmers and ranchers regarding the veterinary feed direction has been clear and unanimous — It’s an unnecessary added expense and will be an undue burden on producers. Our livestock producers have years of experience managing these antibiotics; they know what their animals need to thrive. We applaud Rep. Brecheen’s trust in farmers and ranchers and his work to roll back this burden on American agriculture,” said Scott Blubaught of the American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union Scott Blubaugh.

Note: CapitolBeatOK.com is an independent, non-partisan and locally-managed news service based in Oklahoma City. Based in Oklahoma City and founded by Patrick B. McGuigan in 2009, most stories and events covered here relate to state and local government, and to federal government news that impacts regionally and in this state. McGuigan regularly covers news and events impacting Indian Country and the state congressional delegation. The website includes some coverage of other issues, including culture and broader categories of news, including McGuigan’s a partial archive of McGuigan’s writing from his five decades in journalism.