March 15, 2009

In early February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it had placed 19 employees at its federal laboratory campus in Ames, Iowa, on administrative leave as part of an investigation into whether veterinary credentials were used to buy discount human medications for personal use.

AVMA News

It isn't often the AVMA is on the receiving end of kudos from the Humane Society of the United States. But there it was, in the Letters to the Editor section of the JAVMA (Feb. 1, 2009), a missive from the society's veterinary component commending the AVMA for taking a stand against cosmetic ear cropping and tail docking of dogs.

Government

First rDNA construct approved for human use A human-use anticoagulant derived from milk of genetically engineered goats is the first approved pharmaceutical product of a genetically engineered animal. The Feb. 6 approval for rhAT (trade name ATryn), which is used to prevent blood clots in patients with a rare hereditary condition, came 22 days after the Food and Drug Administration issued a guide for industry on the regulation of genetically engineered animals. The final guidance document asserted the FDA's authority in regulating such products. The recently approved anticoagulant, which was developed by GTC Biotherapeutics, is approved for use in patients with hereditary antithrombin deficiency. About one in 5,000 people in the United Stat ...